Heart Center | Heart Heroes

What's a Heart Hero?

"As a Boston Children’s Hospital Heart Hero, I will keep making a difference ... until every child and adult with a congenital heart defect is well."

This is the promise our Heart Heroes have made—and kept—in their personal fight against congenital heart disease.  

We believe that everyone who has a heart defect, or has made it their mission to better the lives of those who do, is a hero. These heroes deserve to be celebrated for their strength, dedication and achievements.

Boston Children's Heart Heroes include:

  • Patients
  • Family members
  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Other hospital staff
  • Support group leaders
  • Bloggers and journalists
  • Legislators and community advocates

Read the amazing stories of some of our Boston Children's Heart Heroes:

Heart Patient: Parker Bolton

Parker BoltonParker’s first 24 hours of life were so unstable that doctors weren’t sure he’d make it. His condition was so severe that even as his parents we weren’t allowed to see him in the cardiac ICU until they could stabilize him with an emergency catheterization. Parker had to undergo his first heart intervention at just a few hours old. Then, at only 7 days old, he underwent his first open heart surgery. His chest remained open after the surgery because his heart was so swollen; finally it was closed on Christmas Day. We spent that Christmas hoping for the best, but he was not adjusting well to the change. Read more about Parker Bolton's journey.


Heart Patient: Lorraine Sweeney

lorraine sweeneyWhen the first fetal cardiac surgery was performed at Boston Children's Hospital in 2001 – entering Jack Miller’s heart through his mother’s abdomen and opening blood flow – the world was stunned. But more than 60 years earlier, another operation was equally game-changing. It was 1938, a time before heart-lung bypass, when ether and chloroform were only starting to be supplanted by more controllable anesthetics, when tinkering with the heart or even opening the chest were seen as dangerous and taboo. Read about Lorraine Sweeney's fetal cardiac surgery at Boston Children's Hospital in 1938.


Heart Patient: Avery Toole

Avery TooleAvery Toole was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), one of the rarest and most devastating congenital heart defects. Watch Avery Toole's story.