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Heart Care for Carlos

By Cesar, a Children’s National parent
Carlos resized

When we learned that my wife, Sandra, had a genetic heart condition, we wor­ried for our three sons. Would they have to endure the stress, surgeries and pain that she has gone through?

Cardiologists checked out our two older sons. While they have the mutated gene for the heart condition, they are OK. We tried for eight months to find a pedi­atric cardiologist who would evaluate our 15-year-old’s heart. But because Carlos seemed fine, no one would see us. Not knowing if the condition had damaged his heart weighed heavy on our minds. It also worried Carlos.

He’s an active, busy kid. He loves wrestling and chasing his friends on the soccer field. But if he was out of breath or had any discomfort, we panicked.

I finally thought to call Children’s National. Within a week we had an appointment at the hospital’s Fairfax location near our home. Cardiologist Suma Goudar, M.D., paid a lot of atten­tion to Carlos. She spoke to him directly. He had an electrocardiogram and an echocardiogram the same day. Before we left, Dr. Goudar confirmed that Carlos has the genetic mutation. She also told us that his heart is OK. I saw relief on my son’s face.

This care means Carlos has the information and support he needs to live a healthy life. It feels like euphoria.