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Valentine from the Heart: Parents Thank Pediatric Cardiology

January 18, 2008
Biegel Children_detail

Joseph, 6, and his sister Ariel, 11, are growing up together.

By Mark and Lisa Biegel  

We knew our son was sick before he was born. It was evident something was wrong with his heart. Two months after his birth, Joseph underwent open heart surgery at Hopkins Children’s to repair multiple congenital heart defects. Throughout his infancy, he was weak and fragile, requiring constant medical care and trips to Hopkins. His sister, Ariel, turned 5 during the most tenuous days of her baby brother’s life. It was a rough recovery, with scary moments, but he came through it like the fighter he is.

Joseph turned 6 the summer of 2007. He’s a happy energetic little boy, thanks to the ongoing supreme care of his Howard County, Md., pediatrician, Wendell McKay, and the team in the Division of Pediatric Cardiology at Hopkins Children’s: cardiac surgeon Duke Cameron, cardiologist Joel Brenner, anesthesiologist Jackie Martin, and the rest of the devoted pediatric cardiology group. 

Our family is eternally grateful for their quick and thorough actions, which we believe saved our son’s life. The ability to watch Joseph grow, develop and enjoy normal childhood activities is something that we could not have dreamt possible upon hearing his initial diagnosis. The joy is unimaginable. 

We’re growing up together as a close, resilient family. We’ve learned that when your situation looks bleakest, there are many more out there facing greater challenges. So we count our blessings, among them having Hopkins in our own backyard. With gratitude, we plan to help support the pediatric cardiology division.