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Success Stories

Liliana's Story

Picture of Liliana in ballerina dressWhat is more scary for new parents then having your two week old baby cry for seven hours straight? Ending up at CHEO in the Emergency department unable to fathom what could be wrong.

Jan 11, 2013 was the day that our lives changed. The intern who attended to us in the Emergency department checked out our little Liliana and proclaimed her to be colicky. He listened to her heart then he smiled and softly said he would like to bring in the attending doctor. A heart murmur they said -- and by the sounds of it, a large one.

Two days later we were in CHEO’s cardiology clinic speaking with Dr. Wong who confirmed a large Ventricular Septal Defect that would require an operation. We then began the waiting game.

In the following months she started to form muscle bundles and a blood vessel was narrowed. Just when we thought we couldn't wait a moment longer, we received our surgery date. On June 25, 2013, Dr. Maharajh and his team performed surgery on Liliana. It was one of the longest days of our life and while we were terrified, we were also very optimistic. There were a few surprises during the surgery, but in the end it was a success.

The nurses in PICU were so wonderful and caring, not only for her, but to our entire family as well. When it was time for us to move to a unit bed, the nurses on her floor were equally wonderful. Night and day, if we had a question or concern, they addressed it. Thank you CHEO for our excellent care.

After spending five days at the hospital from start to finish, we were sent home. Not once did I have a concern about the quality of care she received. CHEO treated her like she was one of their own and for that we will be forever grateful.

Liliana is now a happy, healthy and active three and a half year old who plays soccer, takes dancing lessons and loves swimming. Looking at her, you would never know, except for her badge of bravery on her chest, that she had surgery. When asked about it, she will reply; “oh that is when they fixed my broken heart”.

My praise for everyone who helped Liliana is and never will be enough. Bless your hearts, hands and souls.

Sarah Knipe Montalvo

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