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Heart to Heart with Anna

Heart to Heart with Anna

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February 18th 2014:Learning Disabilities and Possible Brain Injury in Children with Congenital Heart Defects

Babies who have had open-heart surgery, especially those with complex, congenital heart defects (CCHDs), are at much greater risk for brain injury or learning disabilities. Because of the heart defects themselves, and because of the complicated circulation involved with CCHDs, infants are more at risk for strokes. Infants who have had strokes often have brain injury due to stroke and those children with brain injuries caused in early childhood are more at risk for learning disabilities. While this sounds very frightening, it doesn’t have to mean that your child’s quality of life will be great

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Featured Guests

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Stephanie Gannaway

Stephanie Gannaway is Heart Mom to son Bodie, now two, who was born with a congenital heart defect called tetralogy of Fallot. He had open-heart surgery to repair the defect at six months old. The initial repair was not successful and he spent 100 days in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit after the initial repair with total systemic failure (his organs shut down). At the end of those 100 days, he survived a catherization procedure, 16 surgeries, extra corporeal membrane oxygenation or ECMO, five cardiac arrests, a foot amputation and an anoxic brain injury from lack of oxygen during cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Recovery from an anoxic brain injury is uncertain. Bodie’s life is about therap
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Caitlin K. Rollins

Caitlin K. Rollins is a fellow in behavioral neurology at Boston Children’s Hospital. She attended college at Harvard University and medical school at the University of PA. She remained in PA for pediatrics residency then moved to Boston Children’s Hospital for pediatric neurology training. She is a member of the Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program where she sees children with congenital heart defects or CHDs for neurological follow-up, focusing on issues like motor impairment, developmental delay, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and learning disabilities. Her research focuses on elucidating the biological bases of neurodevelopmental impairments in CHD survivors. Her research has eva
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Dr. Jane Newburger

Dr. Jane Newburger received her Medical Degree from Harvard Medical School and her Master’s in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health. She trained in pediatrics then cardiology at Children’s Hospital Boston. She joined the faculty of the Department of Cardiology as Instructor in Pediatrics and advanced over the next 19 years to Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Associate Chief for Academic Affairs in Cardiology at Children’s Hospital Boston. Dr. Newburger served on the National Heart Lung Blood Institute Advisory Council and is no Senior Editor of Circulation. She has made fundamental contributions with major impact on clinical practice in two fields: neur
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Lisa O'Connor

Lisa O'Connor is a Special Education Advocate representing children and their parents as they navigate through special education. She lives in the greater Boston area and received her training through the Federation for Children with Special Needs. She is also a Court appointed Special Education Surrogate Parent, representing children in State custody, overseeing their education. Through her experiences she has met many families of children with heart defects seeking guidance due to developmental delays, learning disabilities and the need for accommodations. She has found rewarding pathways that enable children to fully access the school environment. She is well versed in Special Education L
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