Caden was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome – which essentially means he was born with half a heart. After doing our research, we decided to trust his care to the Nicklaus Children's Heart Program. Caden had his first open-heart surgery with Dr. Redmond Burke when he was a few days old. Over the span of three years Caden underwent three open-heart surgeries and two cardiac catheterizations. The CICU nurses and doctors gave our family unparalleled respect. We always were made to feel like we were an equal part of Caden’s treatment team.
Today, Caden is thriving. He is currently in Pre-Kindergarten, plays soccer, and is a vivacious little boy. He brings so much joy to everyone he meets. I truly believe that he is doing as well as he is because of the outstanding care he has received from Nicklaus Children's Hospital.
Caden had his last open-heart operation in July 2012 when he was 3 years old. I was so scared that he would be traumatized since he was now old enough to be aware of what going on but Caden was stronger than ever. In fact, when asked what he wanted to do to celebrate his fifth birthday, Caden’s immediate request was to go to Nicklaus Children's Hospital to visit his doctors and the nurses. Needless to say, he wasn’t traumatized at all, and we had a wonderful time visiting the CICU on his birthday!
When you ask Caden what he would like other people to know about Nicklaus Children's Hospital, his response is, “I think Nicklaus Children's Hospital, is the best. I love them there because they helped me to get better. Dr. Burke is awesome – he gave me my ‘super heart’!”