Children's Hospital Colorado

Dr. Darst Gets to the Heart of the Matter to Help Young Patients

Children's Hospital Colorado | February 22, 2016

In his post on the blog Digging Deeper, Pediatric Cardiologist Dr. Jeff Darst highlights the importance of listening to young patients to help clarify misinterpretations and free patients from unnecessary fear.

A crayon-drawn cure for fear

He shares the story of 8-year-old Reid. Reid was born with a small hole in his heart, and though he never received medical advice that he should not run, he was afraid to run for fear that blood would squirt out of his heart with each heartbeat.

By simply taking the time to listen to Reid, Dr. Darst was able to eliminate a fear that had been impacting Reid's life for years.

“A 5-minute conversation, aided by a crayon-drawn heart picture by his artistically challenged cardiologist, cleared up years of misinterpretation and fear for Reid,” Dr. Darst said. “And now he runs.”

Congenital heart disease awareness

Dr. Darst shared Reid’s story as a part of Congenital Heart Disease Awareness, Feb 7-14. Congenital Heart disease affects just under 1 in 100 babies, according to Dr. Darst. 

“To put it another way, if all 75,000 spectators attending the Super Bowl in Santa Clara this month suddenly had a baby at once (now THAT would be a halftime show), around 600 of those babies would be expected to have a congenital heart defect,” Dr. Darst said.