Kayden Thomas

Kayden Thomas, an extraordinary young patient from the Island of Dominica, was born with a congenital heart disease (CHD) requiring surgical repair. CHDs affect nearly 1% of all births per year worldwide. About 25% of the infants born with CHD will require cardiac intervention or surgical repair within the first year of life. Kayden’s home country did not provide the type of cardiology care and surgery that he required.

Kayden was referred to Miller Children’s & Woman’s Hospital through the World Pediatric Project (WPP) for his life altering cardiac surgical procedure. His case was reviewed and accepted by Shaun P Setty, M.D., medical director, pediatric and adult congenital cardiac surgery, MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach, M. Babak Rahimi, M.D., and Saar Danon, M.D., medical director, Pediatric Cardiology and Congenital Cardiac Catheterization, MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach.

The World Pediatric Project is an international non-profit organization that has provided advanced pediatric healthcare since 2001. The WPP network consists of medical & non-medical volunteers, hospital systems, partners, donors, and staff all working together to fulfill this important mission, with most of their work focused in Central America and the Caribbean.

“Our efforts were able to help Kayden for the time being, but to make sure Kayden received proper care, he needed to be flown to Miller Children’s & Women’s,” says Dr. Danon. “Kayden’s condition required advanced treatments and technology to properly close the hole in his heart.”

The World Pediatric Project covered the cost for Kayden and his father to be flown into Long Beach to be treated at the Children’s Heart Institute at MemorialCare Miller Children's & Women's Hospital Long Beach. The Children’s Heart Institute provides total prenatal, infant, pediatric and young adult heart care for patients with congenital or acquired heart disease, patients who have a family history of heart problems, or kids and teens who are diagnosed with a congenital heart defect later in life.

Kayden and his family stayed at the Long Beach Ronald McDonald House, where they received free amenities that included free housing, transportation to the hospital, a caring staff that is on site 24/7 and an overall spacious community.

Kayden also received pre-operation care at the Cherese Mari Children’s Village where an electrocardiogram was performed on him to create a visual image of his heart to give his cardiologist a virtual guide during his procedure.

Once he was cleared for surgery, he was scheduled at the Children’s Heart Institute’s and surgical repair of is heart defect was performed successfully by Dr Setty.

After the surgery, Kayden was moved to the Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit (CTICU) where was closely monitored and cared for by our CTICU dedicated physicians and staff until he had recovered and ready to be discharged. The CTICU at MCG is dedicated to providing family centered care to make sure parents are hands on every step of the way regarding their child’s recovery process.

After discharge from the hospital, Kayden continued his care at the Children’s Village and was seen on routine basis for his post operative care. His post operative outpatient care included not only surgical, and cardiology follow up but also evaluation by the care team members such as dieticians and occupational therapists to monitor his diet and physical strength recovery to get back into daily activities of being a kid.

“The Children’s Heart Institute is committed to providing the most advanced care and compassionate staff so our patients can not only recover quickly after their surgery but also to have a long and healthy lifestyle” says Dr. Rahimi.

Today, thanks to the amazing team at the Children’s Heart Institute, 2-year-old Kayden is living healthy back at home in Dominica.

“We wouldn’t have known about Kayden’s heart condition had he not gotten checked by Dr. Rahimi and Dr. Danon,” says Anthony Thomas, Kayden’s father. “My family and I are very thankful toward Miller Children’s & Women’s for providing my son with the care he needed.”