These patients are just a few of the many children who you will be helping with your donations to Birdies Fore Brighter Futures!
(Click the link below each patient photo to watch a video of their story)
After a round of IVF, Amanda and Phil could hardly contain their excitement to hear, ‘It’s a boy’ from their ultrasound technician. Ten minutes later, Amanda’s doctor delivered a different kind of news: their baby boy would be born with a cleft lip and palate. Their excitement turned to nervousness and worry as they were referred to Connecticut Children’s.
Charles Castiglione, MD, MBA, FACS, a plastic surgeon on the Craniofacial Team at Connecticut Children’s offered their first glimmer of hope. The medical team provided answers, reassurance and a full plan for the baby’s care journey. Armed with confidence in their care team, Amanda and Phil anxiously awaited the arrival of their first child.
Two-year-old Cora was born with a different sort of heart. Instead of having two arteries, one carrying blood to the lungs and one carrying it to the body, she had only one big blood vessel. She also had a hole in the wall between her heart’s chambers. Together, those features meant that her body’s oxygen-delivery system was not working properly. It’s a rare condition called truncus arteriosus. If untreated, it would have resulted in Cora’s death.
Fortunately, Cora’s condition was diagnosed early by imaging specialists at Connecticut Children’s Vincent J. Dowling Cardiovascular Care Center, while her mother, Abby, was still pregnant. That meant the cardiology team could monitor her progress and prepare a comprehensive plan to treat little Cora. That treatment included surgery a week after she was born.
In January of 2019, Taina gave birth to twins Luca and Nico. She and husband Adam experienced all the feelings parents of newborns go through, times two. A year later, Luca began having difficulty breathing. He was diagnosed with asthma and was prescribed Albuterol, a bronchodilator that relaxes muscles in the airways and increases air flow to the lungs.
That should have solved his problems, but then Luca began crying at night, and Adam noticed his stomach seemed hard, something he might not have noticed had Luca’s twin not been present. Around this same time, Adam noticed an AAA battery was missing and was convinced Luca had accidently ingested it. Their pediatrician recommended Connecticut Children’s for testing. A scan showed a problem much worse than a swallowed battery.
Ellie was born with Down syndrome and several related conditions that affect her overall health. Her journey will always involve a variety of specialties and therapies, and Ellie takes it all in stride with a smile and an infectious laugh.
Ellie receives care in the divisions of Cardiology, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Ophthalmology and a few other divisions. She was born with a heart defect, which means she has to be monitored by cardiology regularly though, thankfully, it doesn’t require any activity restrictions. Ellie also has a thyroid condition that is kept in check through continual blood testing and medication. In addition, she regularly works with a physical therapist to help build strength, as patients with Down syndrome often experience low muscle tone. And if those weren’t enough, Ellie receives speech therapy and occupational therapy. Her medical treatments ebb and flow as she grows and develops.