Explain heart defects and repairs with animation

To achieve this, Penny enlisted the help of Michael Liddy, an old friend who works as an architect in Australia, to create videos to share critical information with her patients. For the past 10 years, the couple have been creating the videos together on both sides of the globe, exchanging text messages and Skype when their schedules allow.

“We had been discussing an idea that, wouldn’t it be great to explain to children not only the processes they are going through, but also to help them understand what is wrong? Liddy said. “If we can demystify that, help them understand, then maybe they’ll start to feel that it’s not their whole body that’s broken.”

Using a running track to represent circulation in the body, the videos show children how obstructions and blockages can impact heart function and how the heart can be repaired. Ruby, an armadillo from Texas, and Beau, a bison, teach viewers about heart problems, while “blings” – little buzzing robots – perform operations.

Beau, a bison, and Ruby, a Texas armadillo, teach viewers about heart defects.

For Matt Timmons, assistant vice president of Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, the videos continue to help educate his own family about his son, Luke’s heart disease.

“We have a family history of congenital heart disease and Luke has been diagnosed with aortic coarctation,” said Timmons, who has worked with Penny in the past. “The lively rotation of information took it to a level we could understand. … You can see the blood flowing and, in Luke’s case, you can see where the race track narrows. We figured out that this is where the aorta narrows. … It was just easier for

to understand on a running track than on a two-dimensional diagram of the heart.

Penny said he and Liddy were able to replicate the abnormalities of virtually any birth defect of the heart, as well as many heart operations and transcatheter procedures using the videos.

But the videos aren’t limited to educating children and their families about heart disease and subsequent surgeries. Penny and Liddy have also created videos to help parents understand the social and emotional challenges of having a child with congenital heart disease.

and help make the overall hospital experience less frightening for children.

“The stress that these parents often experience at a very young age can destroy their relationships. A lot of parents meet the clinical criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder, so we need to do everything we can to alleviate that, ”said Penny. “We don’t want to end up with a population of psychologically damaged children and failed marriages. “

By making medical information more accessible, outcomes improve for all parties, Penny said.

“There’s a whole science surrounding this idea of ​​healthcare literacy now, which suggests that the more you know about your disease, the better the chances of a good long-term outcome,” said Penny. “The reason we chose the videos and the animation is because we thought it would be easier to get this around the world than a traditional book. “

Currently, the videos are free and available online to patients of Texas Children, as well as children and families around the world through YouTube (search TexasKidsVideo and press “subscribe”). Penny and Liddy plan to create more videos and produce them in other languages.

“Whatever we do as a great children’s hospital,” said Penny, “we have to do it as part of a global community. “

Scan this QR code with a QR code reader app to watch an animated video from Texas Children’s Hospital on surgery to repair a heart defect.