Written by Aiden's mom, Jennifer
Aiden's First Three Surgeries
We have been alumni of Phoenix Children's Hospital (PCH) since 2004, when our son Aiden had his first heart surgery at 6 months, 2 years and 3 years old to repair his congenital heart defect, tricuspid atresia.
Aiden had a pacemaker put in when he was 3 years old, and we have had the privilege to watch him grow and be a "normal" boy.
After his heart was repaired and oxygen got to all the right places, he caught up in school and even was playing basketball.
The doctors, nurses and everyone associated with PCH have really been like family. When I think of our experience with PCH, it reminds me of the huge impact it had on our lives.
Going through this experience has been an education I never thought I would have to go through. But I learned so much; especially how strong my son is.
Helping Aiden Understand His Fourth Surgery
In March 2013, Aiden had his pacemaker (generator) replaced and our surgeon, Dr. Velez, put a new one in.
This surgery was different. Aiden is 9 years old and has no memory of his three previous surgeries. We had to walk Aiden through this surgery, as if it was his first because it was all new to him. That meant making Aiden feel comfortable and ready for this surgery.
Aiden had a lot of questions and Dr. Velez sat down and explained everything to him and even did a fantastic drawing. Dr. Velez did a great job in letting Aiden know what exactly was going to happen during surgery and making him feel comfortable.
Aiden's New Pacemaker
The day of surgery, a child life specialist had pictures of the surgery room and went step-by-step through what would happen; from when they wheeled him away to when he would be waking up in the recovery room.
All this communication was so important and gave Aiden a little bit of control over something that he had no control over. It really made Aiden feel he was in charge.
Aiden was ready to go. Dr. Velez replaced Aiden's pacemaker and did a fantastic job.
Aiden has recovered and doing great. He started playing basketball and will play in his first game.
Thank you, Dr. Velez and PCH.
The little things make all the difference.