Babies who have had open-heart surgery, especially those with complex, congenital heart defects (CCHDs), are at much greater risk for brain injury or learning disabilities. Because of the heart defects themselves, and because of the complicated circulation involved with CCHDs, infants are more at risk for strokes. Infants who have had strokes often have brain injury due to stroke and those children with brain injuries caused in early childhood are more at risk for learning disabilities.
Tune in to hear two prominent doctors from Boston Children's Hospital -- Pediatric Cardiologist, Dr. Jane Newburger, and Pediatric Neurologist, Dr. Caitlin Rollins talk about what they have learned from the research they have conducted regarding children born with heart defects and possibly brain malformations or brain injuries. Heart Mom, Stephanie Gannaway, and Special Education Advocate, Lisa O'Connor, discuss their own experiences in dealing with children with brain injuries and congenital heart defects. Lisa O'Connor shares what programs are available in the schools for children with special needs. Stephanie Gannaway shares her very inspirational story about her son Bodie and how they are handling his special needs.