Little hearts, big potential

At OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, where I’m a pediatric resident, inspiration is everywhere. I have the pleasure of working with talented, dedicated physicians and nurses every day. Yet, it is often patients and their families, their endless hope and caring, that make me want to be better and do more. One afternoon not long ago, the mother of a patient in the OHSU Doernbecher cardiology clinic shared with me the story of her adorable son’s … Read More

Doernbecher identifies heart defects using one of most advanced MRI systems in the world

Many people are surprised to hear that congenital heart disease is the most common birth defect in the United States and the leading cause of death in the first year of life. Even fewer realize that congenital heart disease is more common than cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy and all childhood cancers combined. As I helped my children cut out their “heart-shaped” Valentine’s Day cards last month, I couldn’t help thinking about the difference between our … Read More

Treating pediatric heart disease as far away as Pago Pago

This Thanksgiving I added something new to the list of things I am grateful for. Three weeks ago, I traveled to a stunningly beautiful part of the United States, where I found hundreds of children living with debilitating heart disease. At some point in the past, the children had contracted either strep throat or impetigo, a common streptococcal skin infection. Weeks to years later, they were found to have heart murmurs. Many were fatigued and … Read More

Finnigan Mooney — Nike/Doernbecher Freestyle designer

Finnigan Mooney Age: 10 Diagnosis: Hypoplastic left heart syndrome Nike/Doernbecher Freestyle Shoe: Dunk Hi SB Q: So a cowboy rides into town on Friday and leaves on Friday but only stays three days. How is this possible? A: The horse’s name is Friday. That’s the kind of non-stop entertainment you can find from Finnigan Joseph Mooney, a natural comedian with an infectious smile. Finn has toughed out more than 13 heart surgeries during his life, … Read More

Taking care of your heart is a precious gift to your children

I see women in the role of caregiver on a daily basis. As a pediatric cardiologist I have spent more than a decade talking with parents, usually mothers, about the condition of their child’s heart. As the childhood obesity epidemic has gained more widespread attention, mothers are increasingly bringing their children to see me at the Doernbecher Dyslipidemia Clinic. We discuss: Altering the family shopping list and meal preparation to provide their children a heart-healthy … Read More

Oswaldo Jimenez — Nike/Doernbecher Freestyle designer

Oswaldo Jimenez Age: 11 Diagnosis: Severe pulmonary hypertension Shoe: Air Jordan 9 Retro Fierce. Strong. Fearless. Just like a … chicken. Yep, Oswaldo Jimenez has a power animal, and it just happens to be a scrappy pollito, or “little chicken.” He earned the moniker because of his puckish eating habits as a toddler and the name stuck. Last December, after a series of fainting spells, Oswaldo was given a life-changing diagnosis: severe pulmonary hypertension. The … Read More

The Shins’ James Mercer hearts Doernbecher

Two of the many things that I fell in love with when I moved from Boston to Portland six years ago was the city’s sense of community pride and its spirit of generosity. Acts of kindness and goodwill are seen every day in so many ways. It’s such a genuine and unique characteristic of our city that the TV show “Portlandia” pokes fun at it. Another fixture of Portland, also featured on “Portlandia,” is the … Read More

From the heart … part 2 in a series

Chances are that at least one member of your family has been told at some point that he or she has a murmur. What exactly does this mean? Is it dangerous? Can it be passed along through families? Why wasn’t it heard earlier? Is it safe to do strenuous exercise? Do you need to take an antibiotic at the dentist? Before we get to these questions, let’s start with a little background. At birth the … Read More

Pulse oximetry screening helps detect critical congenital heart defects

In the United States, critical congenital heart defects affect about 4,800 newborns each year. Babies born with a critical congenital heart defect are at significant risk for death or disability if they are not diagnosed and treated soon after birth. But some babies may appear healthy at first and can be sent home with their families before the defect is detected. It has been estimated that at least 280 infants with an unrecognized critical congenital … Read More

From the Heart, part 1 in a series

I’m very excited to be able to share one of the most remarkable and inspiring stories of modern medicine. It’s the story of congenital heart disease. Let’s begin with a little background. Congenital heart disease refers to a problem with the way the heart is formed. Hearts can develop with holes between the chambers, small or fused valves, underdeveloped chambers, or abnormal connections between parts of the heart. It can get extremely complicated. It’s amazing … Read More

Doernbecher Best in the Country U.S. News & World Report

Doernbecher Best in the Country U.S. News & World Report


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