Taylor Outruns Heart Disease To Graduate College and Complete a Marathon

Published on: 02/04/2022

Taylor is a 21-year-old former cardiology patient and preemie who found the path to a bright future at Nicklaus Children's Hospital. She was a patient of the amazing and humble Dr. Redmond Burke. We hope Taylor’s story gives hope to families of babies with a tetralogy of Fallot diagnosis.

Taylor was born at 28 weeks at St Mary's Hospital and was eventually transferred to Nicklaus Children’s due to her patent ductus arteriosus (failure of the ductus arteriosus to close, enabling blood flow to the lungs) and she was also diagnosed with tetralogy of Fallot, a combination of four heart defects, that affects one in approximately 2,500 children. Dr. Burke would eventually do Taylor’s repairs. 

We were first-time parents and completely terrified of what the future would hold. The questions were never ending. Would she have a "normal" life? Would she be able to do the things most kids do? Would she even survive? We both agreed it was easier to concentrate on the moment. She was here now! She was alive! That kept us going.

The doctors and nurses were the best we have ever experienced. They explained everything so clearly and helped us feel so much better about our baby’s diagnosis. 

Taylor’s first surgery was performed when she was just 2 pounds, 13 ounces and it was done making a small incision in her back. The second surgery was the big one and that was performed in November 2000, once she reached 10 pounds. Taylor's recovery was remarkable! The years have flown by and most days we don't really think about her early years. We are positive that this experience made her stronger.

So where is Taylor now? On December 12, 2021, she ran her first marathon. She has already completed three half marathons. And she graduated on December 16th, 2021 as a film major from Florida Atlantic University. We can never begin to explain the gratitude we feel for the staff that helped us to get through the most difficult time of our lives. The world is a much better place because of the miracles each one of them perform.

Taylor at her graduation

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