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Tireless, Loving Care for Orlin

150 Years Stronger Patient Story  Orlin

MJ’s world caved in when she learned her baby would be born with a serious congenital heart defect called transposition of the great arteries. Her newborn would need immediate cardiac catheterization, then heart surgery. Dr. Mary Donofrio, a fetal cardiologist at Children’s National Hospital put MJ at ease. “I was really afraid of losing my son, but she told us it was going to be OK,” MJ says.

Dr. Donofrio made a plan for MJ to give birth at nearby MedStar Washington Hospital Center. The baby would be transported to Children’s National. “She went above and beyond to make sure my child would have the best possible care,” MJ says. Dr. Donofrio also made sure that her older son Kevin could visit the cardiac intensive care unit, where Orlin spent nearly three weeks.

“After the seven-hour open-heart surgery to fix his tiny heart,” MJ says. “I watched amazing nurses care for my child, who I was so afraid to touch.”

Baby Orlin recovered in our Heart and Kidney Unit, then went home on Mother’s Day. He is now a healthy and rambunctious 4-year-old who loves going to the park with his brother to fly down the slide. MJ says, “We are forever grateful for the tireless, compassionate and loving care of the entire Children’s National community.”