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Patient Stories

Jacob’s Story

jacobJacob had his first heart surgery shortly after birth and then, as his body grew, several more surgeries to complete the process of rerouting his blood to compensate for having only one ventricle. Until the 1970s, babies born with this condition did not survive, but new, sophisticated surgical techniques now allow these children to have full lives. Read Jacob’s story >

Olivia’s Story

oliviaThough doctors at other hospitals said Olivia couldn’t survive after birth, Dr. Heller knew she could in fact live a full life with the right treatment. And today Olivia is thriving. Read Olivia’s story >

Siaana’s Story

siaanaSiaana was diagnosed with a rare heart defect called tetralogy of Fallot when she was 10 months old. Now 5 years old, she undergoes a yearly echocardiogram at her cardiology appointments to evaluate the size and function of her right ventricle, the flow through her right ventricular outflow tract and main pulmonary artery, her left ventricular function and the ventricular septal defect patch. Read Siaana’s story >

Marina’s Story

It’s been more than six years since Marina and her brother, Pete, were born, weighing just over 1 pound apiece. Both babies, who were born three months early on August 11, 2012, faced a host of challenges that premature newborns often face, but Marina was also diagnosed with a rare congenital heart defect known as an aortopulmonary window (APW) that required corrective surgery. Read Marina’s story >

Dante’s Story

“I first met Dante in utero when mom was about 4 to 5 months pregnant,” says cardiologist Alicia Wang, MD, who specializes in fetal cardiology. “We were able to see while she was pregnant, looking at the heart, there was something wrong with the valve.”

Dante was diagnosed with pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum, and was cared for shortly after birth at Connecticut Children’s. “Our experience has been nothing short of amazing, with the staff, doctors and nurses—everyone who has been in contact with us and Dante,” says Dante’s mom, Valerie.

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Bethany’s Story

Bethany was born with aortic valvular stenosis with regurgitation. Today, she credits congenital heart disease specialist Shailendra Upadhyay, MD and Connecticut Children’s adult congenital heart disease program with keeping her well all the way through adulthood. “Every time I come in and talk to him about things, he always tells me I’m a strong woman, and I can handle it,” Bethany says. “Hearing that from your doctor is really special.”

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