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Amelia's Story

At 6 days old, Amelia was the sweetest baby. When she seemed unusually tired, her mom, Melissa, took her to the pediatrician. See why their next stop was Children’s National Hospital, and how you helped their family every step of the way.
Our emergency department prioritized care for the fragile newborn. They thought Amelia could have an infection and transferred her to our neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). 

That’s where Dr. Lowell Frank diagnosed Amelia with something far more serious: a ventricular septal defect. He drew pictures for her family to illustrate the hole in Amelia’s heart and explained what her symptoms meant.  

No parent is ever prepared to hear that something is wrong with their baby’s heart. But Melissa found comfort in the doctor’s words. “We felt very informed,” she says. “They made it possible for us to be partners in this process.”

Melissa recalls the nurses as a very calming presence. She also appreciated having access to discounted meals and care from lactation specialists that helped ease the stress of having a baby in the hospital. 

“The care was for all of us,” Melissa says.

The family continued to work with cardiologist Dr. Gerard Martin, Medical Director of Global Services, after Amelia was discharged, to monitor her heart. And last August, Dr. Gerard Martin delivered news that the family didn’t need him anymore — Amelia’s heart had healed itself! She’s now almost 2 and loves to play with her older brother, Maxwell.  

“Amelia had a rough start,” Melissa says, “but Children’s National was the place to be to get her back on track.”

For 150 years, supporters like you have provided exceptional pediatric care and pioneered research that has led to new treatments and cures. We’ve grown stronger with your support. Today, you give families A Reason to Believe. Thank you for giving from your heart so children like Amelia can grow up stronger.