10-year-old boy worried about how Mott doctor may change his heart: Don’t make me a Michigan fan

Five years after being adopted from Russia, Toledo fourth grader becomes among first in Michigan to benefit from new device for congenital heart defect

After receiving care at Mott's Congenital Heart Center, Buckeye fan Ivan Applin, 10, may have just a little room for Michigan in his heart.

After receiving care at Mott’s Congenital Heart Center, Buckeye fan Ivan Applin, 10, may have just a little room for Michigan in his heart.

As pediatric cardiologist Dr. Ronald Grifka showed 10-year-old Ivan Applin the wire-framed device that would be used to fix the holes in his heart, the Toledo fourth grader had just one burning concern.

“He asked if the Michigan doctors were going to make his heart love University of Michigan instead of Ohio State,” his mother Jennifer laughs.

No, he would wake up loving the Buckeyes just as much as he ever did, Dr. Grifka, assured him. The procedure would also mean he could better enjoy his favorite activities, like soccer, for many more years to come.

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Slower can be better

Reducing radiation exposure during heart catheterization procedures

cardiac cath reducing radiationA cardiac catheterization is a procedure performed by a cardiologist to diagnose and often treat heart conditions. Many patients with congenital heart disease require cardiac catheterizations. During catheterization procedures, we use fluoroscopy to obtain real-time moving images of your heart.

Fluoroscopy is basically a series of x-rays that are played very quickly. It’s similar to how movies work – when the still images are played back quickly, they produces a moving image.

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Sharing hope where it’s needed most: A “heart mom” gives back

colleen schomakerLike many parents, I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about congenital heart defects.  That changed a little over 13 years ago.  It was then, at my 20 week ultrasound, that it was discovered my unborn baby would be born with a severe heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, which essentially meant only half of his heart would be the normal size needed to function.

We learned a lot that day.  We were told that heart defects were the most common birth defect, that I didn’t do anything to cause it, and it was likely a ”fluke.” We learned that his options were limited, his mortality rate was significantly increased and that we could have a lifetime of unknowns and medical care ahead of us. We were told his best chance at survival would be to have one of three open heart surgeries just days after birth.

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