Texas Children’s hosts inaugural celebration VAD superheroes celebration

On June 30, more than 100 people gathered at Texas Children’s Hospital for the inaugural Celebration for VAD Superheroes. The event, which brought together patients of Texas Children’s VAD Program, allowed the patients and their families to connect with others who share similar experiences. They enjoyed games, visiting with Texas Children’s therapy dog, Bailey, reuniting with their care team, posing for pictures in a photo booth, and more.

“They say it takes a village to care for a child and we are honored to help care for yours,” said Dr. Jeff Dreyer, medical director of heart failure, cardiomyopathy and cardiac transplantation, at the event. “Pediatric VAD therapy is a team sport and I am proud to be a part of this team.”

Some patients awaiting a heart transplant may require mechanical circulatory support with a Ventricular Assist Device (VAD). Texas Children’s offers a variety of circulatory support devices as a bridge to transplantation. Since the inception of Texas Children’s VAD Program in 1985, we have become one of the largest, most comprehensive pediatric VAD programs in the world. Texas Children’s Hospital offers a comprehensive range of both short and long-term mechanical devices for children of all sizes. To learn more visit texaschildrens.org/heart.

Texas Children’s patient, Christiana, shared her experience with event attendees, offered encouragement and explained to other patients that it’s possible to live with a VAD in a safe manner.

“You can still dance and travel. I’ve graduated high school and will be going to college in the fall,” Christiana said. “We have all gone through a tough journey, but we’ve made it. I’m so thankful for the entire VAD team at Texas Children’s and decided at age 12 that I was going to be a heart surgeon. I can’t wait to achieve that dream!”

Dr. Iki Adachi, a congenital heart surgeon at Texas Children’s, said he always feels he can support complex patients like Christiana because he’s supported by an incredible team.

“We have learned so much from each of you and looking forward to other celebrations in the future,” he said.