Families and patients share their experiences with the Akron Children's Hospital Heart Center.

Courageous kindergartner battles back from multiple open heart surgeries

Starting school was the furthest thing from Anita Brainard’s mind as she reflected on her son Rian’s life to this point – 4 open heart surgeries, multiple setbacks and recoveries, visions of him with oxygen tubes and other breathing treatment devices, and countless hospital visits all before his fifth birthday.

Nurse switches roles, learns what life is like as a patient family

Sarah and her husband, Zach, were already parents to 3-year-old Chloe when they learned she was pregnant with a second daughter. But 3 weeks after her 19-week ultrasound, their world came crashing down when they learned their unborn baby had a series of complex congenital heart defects.

Akron Children’s ambulance is one of the most beautiful vehicles on earth

I grew up seeing cars every day. My dad owns an auto body repair shop. But there is vehicle that always stops me in my tracks, brings a tear to my eye, and a prayer to my heart – Akron Children’s transport van.

Newborn screen to detect congenital heart defects saves lives

Brittani Hill credits her daughter’s life to Ohio’s newest addition to its newborn screening law, which requires the use of pulse oximetry to detect critical congenital heart disease. Her daughter, Taylor Lightner, seemed normal at birth but nurses at Alliance Community Hospital questioned the newborn’s oxygen level when doing the newly required test. Taylor was sent […]

Celebrating hearts in March

We think about hearts a lot here at our house. In fact, while everyone else celebrates hearts in February, we reserve most of our excitement for March 6, Happy Heart Day, the day of Bekah’s open heart surgery.

Harper celebrates her first birthday

A whole year has gone by. When I think back to this day a year ago, I didn’t know anything about Harper’s awesomeness before she was born. I remember so many emotions that day: nervousness, excitedness, sadness. I was all over the place. If there was anything I could change, I would make sure I had seen my baby before they told me she had Down syndrome and a heart defect.