Healing Hearts at Golisano Children’s Hospital

Here at Golisano Children’s Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center, we’re committed to mending hearts and saving lives.

Claire Elizabeth Kowal came into this world with the cards stacked against her. Before she was born, her parents Jennifer and Pete knew that she would need not one, not two, but three open-heart surgeries, to treat her condition – hypoplastic right heart syndrom.

Thanks to the experienced care team at Golisano Children’s Hospital’s Children’s Heart Center, little Claire Elizabeth is doing incredibly well. She was honored at the Rochester Heart Ball on Feb. 4. What’s more, her parents have decided to pay it forward, creating a support group to help other families of children born with heart defects.

  • Read this recent interview with the Kowal family from the Democrat and Chronicle for more on Claire Elizabeth’s progress and the Mended Little Heart chapter that her family started up to support other families through similar issues in the community.
  • Read an in-depth account of Clair Elizabeth’s medical journey from last February 2010, leading up to her second of three surgeries.
  • Check out this story, shared by YNN Rochester from last April, with more on Claire Elizabeth’s progress after her second surgery.
Growing Our Children’s Heart Center
Congenital heart disease is the most common major birth defect, with one in every 120 babies affected. Decades ago there wasn’t much hope for these babies. Today, we perform life-saving heart surgery on newborns, like Jason Gaines (pictured on the left), who live into adulthood. Golisano Children’s Hospital has made it a priority to raise funds for seven pediatric programs, including the Children’s Heart Center.
To learn more about families who have been helped by our Children’s Heart Center:
  • Read about one of last year’s Miracle Kids, Ryan Sheehan.
  • Watch a video in which the mom of one of our 2010 Miracle Kids, Addison Koons, shares his story.
  • Read about one of our 2009 Miracle Kids, Jason Gaines
  • Check out this blog post with a video on new cardiac guidelines with the guidelines coordinator, Golisano Children’s Hospital’s Dr. Rae-Ellen Kavey.
  • Visit our website’s Planning for Our Future section on how we’re hoping to enhance Golisano Children’s Hospital’s Children’s Heart Center.
If you’d like to make a gift to support this program, please call (585) 273-5948 or give online.
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