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Solutions for a Healthier Community: Danielle Swett
Danielle Swett

What Happens When a Heart Defect Comes As a Surprise?

When Paul and Paula Swett of Zeeland considered adopting a little girl from China, they wanted to be sure specialized pediatric care was available in West Michigan. “Danielle was born with a cleft lip and palate,” Paula said. “It was reassuring to know physicians are here who could take care of her.”

The Swetts' trust in Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital became even more important when they went to China to bring Danielle home. To their surprise, her lip was repaired before they arrived. However, a medical exam revealed an opening between two major blood vessels in her heart. Unexpectedly, Danielle would need specialized pediatric cardiovascular care.

Advanced Treatment Close to Home
In January 2011, Danielle was the first patient treated in the new Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital pediatric heart catheterization laboratory—only one of three in Michigan. Through two needle-sized openings in Danielle’s leg, her physician repaired the hole in her heart by inserting a special plug.

With our new cath lab, we have a customized environment that is exactly what we need to provide children the best care possible. State-of-the-art equipment and a highly trained, multidisciplinary staff ensure excellent pediatric cardiovascular care. After the successful catheterization procedure, Danielle was able to go home the same night. Several days later, she was back in school.

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