Elise's Story

Photo of EliseElise was just a happy 5-year-old when she went in for a regular doctor visit. No one, especially her mom and dad, would suspect that anything was wrong. So when her doctor recommended some extra screening because he heard subtle clicking in her heart, they could not have expected an unexpected diagnosis.

Even though she did not have any of the common symptoms, further testing confirmed that Elise had partial anomalous pulmonary venous return (PAPVR). Elise refers to it as an upside down heart because it was pumping oxygen-rich blood into her lungs instead of to the rest of her body. During a time like no other, Elise needed a life-saving heart procedure from the experts at Valley Children’s to allow proper blood flow to her lungs and body. After a five-day hospital stay, virtual visits and some extra screen time, Elise made a full recovery.

Today, Elise is even happier and more enthusiastic than ever. She loves ballet class and wants to be a teacher just like her mom. While the year posed its challenges, the specialized care at Valley Children’s brought hope in an unimaginably difficult time, and Elise brought a sparkle that ignited happiness for everyone around her.  


Expert Care with a Lot of Heart

With the most innovative techniques and readily available equipment, our pediatric heart experts have conducted many “firsts,” including the very first open heart surgery in the region and opening the area’s first catheterization lab. Our specialists provide the most advanced care for children who have congenital or acquired heart conditions by repairing the tiniest hearts with just 1/8-inch of a skin puncture. Learn more about how our team helps kids like Elise reach for their dreams and follow their heart >>