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Bronte is still a baby, but Packard Children’s is already planning for her family’s long-term needs. For young kids with life-threatening heart arrythmias, especially those who have experienced a cardiac event, receiving an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) can impact their emotional and mental health.

To help kids and their families thrive both physically and emotionally, Packard Children’s offers Connecting, an annual event led by pediatric cardiologist and electrophysiologist Anne Dubin, MD, and pediatric psychologist Lauren Schneider, PsyD. Connecting helps patients and their families learn about their heart condition and what it means to live with, or parent a child with, an ICD. Families gain support from one another and share resources.

“It allows them to realize they are not alone in their journey, and have fun with their health care team and each other,” says Schneider.

This year’s event wouldn’t have been possible without several kind and generous donors including Alex Vibber Foundation, The Safe + Fair Food Company, Sheraton Palo Alto, and Southwest Airlines.

This article originally appeared in the Summer 2020 issue of Packard Children’s News.

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