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Drew was just 8 hours old when he started turning blue. His care team leapt into action to determine why. Drew’s parents were shocked to learn that he had a congenital heart defect called pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum. The valve that controls blood flow from Drew’s heart to his lungs hadn’t formed properly.

“Our lives changed forever,” recalls Drew’s mom, Vivian. 

Three days later, Drew had his first open-heart surgery at Packard Children’s. For the last eight years, he has received care from the team at our Betty Irene Moore Children’s Heart Center. On the horizon is Drew’s “big surgery” to fix his pulmonary valve. 

In the meantime, Drew is a proud big brother and an active and athletic kid who loves to play basketball and golf. He has also grown into an advocate for other children with heart defects. 

“Drew enjoys sharing his story with his classmates and friends. Every year we help educate his school about Congenital Heart Awareness Week and talk about our experiences being a heart family,” Vivian says. 

Looking back on her family’s medical journey with Packard Children’s, Vivian is moved by how many individuals have provided care not only for her son, but for the entire family as they navigate through Drew’s treatment.

“From Dr. Katsuhide Maeda, Drew’s surgeon, and Dr. Claudia Algaze, his cardiologist, to Vanessa in the Heart Center who helps us schedule our appointments, and so many nurses in the NICU and CVICU, I’m so grateful for them all,” says Vivian. 

“I will never forget one specific nurse in the NICU who made sure we were able to spend time with Drew before he went into his first surgery,” she adds. 

Heart Center patients like Drew and their families receive extraordinary life-saving care thanks to generous support from community members like you. We deeply appreciate all that you do for Packard Children’s. Drew is looking forward to seeing you at the 2019 Summer Scamper, where he’ll help count down the start of the 5k/10k races. 

Drew is #WhyWeScamper.

Register to Scamper and support care, comfort, and cure for more kids like Drew.