Jade, Age 5: Congenital Heart Disease

At two months of age, Jade started making routine trips to the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital as a heart patient. She was born with the congenital heart defect of Tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia.

“My fiancé and I decided to move Jade from another hospital to the University of Maryland, and I believe that was the best decision we could’ve ever made in order to save our child’s life,” says Jade’s mom, Erika.

“In cases of Tetralogy of Fallot, there are basically four problems with the heart, including a hole in between the lower chambers of the heart and obstruction of the blood flow to the lungs,” explains Sudhir Vashist, MBBS, her pediatric cardiologist. “However, Tetralogy of Fallot is a big spectrum and Jade had the worst form of this condition. Not only did she have absent pulmonary valve, but her normal vessels supplying blood to the lungs were also completely absent.”

In Jade’s case, she has needed four open heart surgeries and several cardiac catheterizations.

No Limitations for a Future Teacher

Jade’s mother is overjoyed with her daughter’s health. “The University of Maryland is all about love. Coming here gave my family hope and gave Jade a life with no limitations,” Erika says.

Her good health has let Jade dream big for her future. Right now she thinks she might like to be a teacher when she grows up since she spends a lot of time teaching her two younger siblings.

Are you looking for a pediatric specialist? Call the UM Children’s Hospital at 410-328-5887.