Bella Drake '19
As I stood in the lobby of Boston Children’s Hospital on the first day of my internship, I was in awe. Doctors, families, surgeons and volunteers were traveling in every direction, and for a moment, I stood there to take it all in. After finding Sam and picking up my badge, the action began right away as I went up to observe in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab. In these Catheterization labs, the Cardiologists are able to perform complicated, noninvasive procedures through the use of catheters and x-ray machines, and I watched the screens as I attempted to grasp what the doctors were trying to do. I peered through the glass and watched in astonishment as two men huddled over the patient, and x-ray machines glided into various positions to capture different pictures. As the day continued, definitions for words like pulmonary atresia and patent ductus arteriosus began to fill my head, and I attempted to learn how a normal heart functioned.
When I returned to the hospital every morning and walked into the bustling lobby, I would wonder what new things would be in store for me that day.
In the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, I watched as families put all their faith into their care team, and worked everyday to help their child reach the next milestone.From clinical rounds in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, to the Heart Transplant Clinic and early morning Medical Conferences, I always found myself marveling at the brilliance of the doctors I was surrounded by and perplexed by the complexities of congenital heart disease. In the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, I watched as families put all their faith into their care team, and worked everyday to help their child reach the next milestone. In the Heart Transplant Clinic, I watched as families excitedly prepared to leave the hospital for the first time after their child’s heart transplant. In the Medical Surgery Conference every Tuesday, I watched as the entire Cardiology Department debated the best plan of treatment for the children coming to them from all over the world.
During my days at the hospital, I would witness crazy events unfold beneath my eyes. On the second day of my internship, as I followed Dr. Kheir’s round team from room to room in the Cardiac ICU, I learned of a little boy who had just received a brand new heart in the middle of the night. For the next two weeks, getting to this little boy’s room every day on rounds was the highlight of my morning.
Being able to watch this little boy recover and start his new life with a healthy heart was by far the most amazing and powerful moment of my entire internship.One morning I peered from the back of the room as the surgeons transformed his ICU room into an operating room and closed his chest. A few days later, the little boy came off the ventilator, and I watched as his mom stood by his bedside waiting for him to wake up. Everyday, I smiled as the doctors noted of his little improvements during rounds and watched as day by day he began to look like a normal child again. On the very last day of my internship, as I rounded with the team of doctors in the Cardiac ICU and we turned the corner to go to the little boy’s room, what we found surprised us all. We all watched as the little boy slowly walked with his nurse, and successfully made it down the hallway and back. Being able to watch this little boy recover and start his new life with a healthy heart was by far the most amazing and powerful moment of my entire internship. Even though most days as a Pediatric Cardiologist are long, and filled with crazy stressful situations, by the end of my internship, I realized that the magic of pediatric cardiology was not found in any single day, but instead in being able to witness the incredible transformation as a child with a congenital heart defect is finally able to live like a normal kid for the first time in their life. Having the opportunity to witness such an incredible moment during my short time at Boston Children’s is something that I will forever be grateful for and will continue to inspire me to one day go into pediatric medicine.
Thank you to the Sacco Family, Dr. Allan, Sam and all of the other amazing cardiologists at Boston Children’s Hospital for making my two weeks there amazing and inspiring in so many ways. Every patient, family and doctor that I met along the way will forever stay in my heart.