Acting right away, her parents called 911 and had their newborn transferred by ambulance to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Once there, a pediatric cardiologist sat down with Jemma’s parents to explain that their daughter had been born without half her heart.
Understandably shaken, the parents were reassured by Jemma’s cardiologist who told them Phoenix Children’s could help. Since its very first days as a small pediatric hospital in Arizona, Phoenix Children’s has fostered a culture of ingenuity and invention, an ethic still very much evident within the hospital’s division of pediatric imaging. Its 3D Innovation Lab is among the first in children’s hospitals to marry 3D imaging, advanced postprocessing technologies and 3D printing, to create a life-sized heart model, complete with Jemma’s defect. This model served as the foundation for surgical planning.
Taking the 3D model of her heart, Jemma’s surgeon was able to unravel complexities prior to surgery. The team was able to evaluate her vascular patterns and determine the best approach to mending her heart - all before operating.
Today, Jemma is an avid swimmer who can hold her breath underwater longer than anyone in her family and runs circles around her older sisters. “One of the great things about Phoenix Children’s is that they have never put limitations on her,” said Jemma’s mom.