A mission with heart: Day 1 in Haiti

Dr. Grace Smith holding Joe Marvens

Many of Akron Children’s doctors, nurses and staff travel regularly to Haiti to help care for the sick children at St. Damien Pediatric Hospital. This post is the first installment of a 3-part series by Dr. Grace Smith, who gives a first-person account of her most recent medical mission trip there.

Meet Andrew: Making the transition from pediatric to adult congenital heart care

Andrew Testa

When Andrew Testa was born in June 1995, his parents, Joe and Lisa, of Green, thought they had a healthy baby boy on their hands. Little did they know their world was about to change. A routine checkup at 4 months old revealed Andrew had a heart murmur, which earned him a referral to Akron Children’s cardiology department.

Tears of joy after seeing our son pink for the first time after open heart surgery


One year ago around 8 a.m. we handed our son Jonathan at 10 months old, over to his heart surgeon for his second open heart surgery. When the surgeon came to talk to us about the surgery, they told us our son was pink. Tears came falling down, tears of relief.

Up and Down, In and Out… of the hospital

Harper wave

One thing we’ve learned is that if doctors say there is a slight chance something might happen, it will happen with Harper. We see more specialists at Akron Children’s Hospital than I ever thought possible.

Remembering the peace of heart surgery 2 years later

Moving the chair to reach more.

Two years ago I spent four of the most peaceful hours of my life sitting in the surgical waiting area of Akron Children’s Hospital. To this day I am surprised each time I look back at just how at ease I felt during the time Rebekah was undergoing open heart surgery.

Meet Our Amazing Angel Cam: Hypoplastic right ventricle


As I sit back and reflect on this past year, I can’t help but shed tears of both happiness and sadness. We are coming up to Cam’s first Birthday, a day that I feared we would never see.