Posts Tagged ‘Dr. Mark Bleiweis’

Behind Those Doors

November 21, 2010

Karen Thurston Chavez is Co-Founder of the support group Broken Hearts of the Big Bend (BHBB) and a good friend. We met when I spoke at BHBB’s Congenital Heart Defect Symposium last year and we trade e-mails at least once a week, keeping up with each other and discussing the latest issues affecting the Heart Defect community.

Karen’s blog has a most unusual post you need to read – in September, she was able to shadow her son’s heart surgeon for a day at Shands Children’s Hospital in Gainesville, Florida. But then something she didn’t expect happened:

I figured I would sit in on conferences and consultations he had with families whose children were having, would be having, or just had open-heart surgery to repair their congenital heart defects.  I guessed that I would sit and watch while he handled administrative work. I was right. I did all those things.

I did not think I would step into his operating room.

So I’m sending you over to her blog for today’s post. Karen will help you get scrubbed in and then walk you into the Operating Room as Dr. Mark Bleiweis performs open heart surgery.


Seminole wind!

November 30, 2009

So blow, blow Seminole wind,
Blow like you’re never gonna blow again.
Take me down to the Big Bend
To meet some new Heart Friends.

That’s where I’m headed – I’m going to be a part of Broken Hearts of the Big Bend‘s Regional Forum on Congenital Heart Defects! It is going to be held in Tallahassee, Florida, on February 13, 2010. The event begins at 8:30 AM at Sittig Hall in downtown Tallahassee. You can get more information and register for the Forum by clicking HERE.

Two of the top Pediatric Cardiologists will be in attendance – Dr. Mark Bleiweis, the director of the UF Congenital Heart Center and chief pediatric Congenital Surgeon; and Dr. Jay Fricker, who is the head of Pediatric Cardiology for the University of Florida College of Medicine. I’ll have my laptop and hope to be liveblogging the forum; but if that isn’t possible I’l have a notebook and pencil and blog about the event later. (I hope there is Wi-Fi, it’s much better when it is live and in color!) Dr. Fricker and Dr. Bleiweis will participate in a panel discussion, and later on experts will show us how to advocate for your child at school, in the doctor’s office, and in the hospital. I’ll be on a panel of Adult CHD Survivors scheduled for after lunch, and possibly even speaking to the group.

The event is FREE but they do ask that you register, probably so they will have a good count for the Happy Hearts Reunion, a gathering of CHDers that will follow the event. You can register by clicking the link on the information page.

It promises to be both fun and informative, and you’ll get to meet other heart families who are fighting the same battle that you are.

Hope to see you there!