Mitral Valve Surgery and Compassionate Care Make a Boy’s Family Feel “Blessed”

When Lodoe noticed her 14-month-old son, Jampel, started developing fever and night sweats, she gave him Tylenol because she believed he was just teething. However, the fever continued.  The next morning, he was shivering. Suddenly, he had seizure. Lodoe was scared and worried because this was her first child, and she had never been through an ordeal like this before. She dialed 911, and an ambulance took them to a hospital near her home. He was given Motrin and sent home, but his fever persisted.  

The next day, she brought Jampel to the Pediatric Emergency Department at The Mount Sinai Hospital. The physicians conducted tests and also noted a new heart murmur, which Jampel had not had before. Lodoe didn’t believe it would be that serious. However, pediatric cardiologist Kenan Stern, MD, advised them to have Jampel admitted to Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital right away. Jampel’s heart murmur was caused by endocarditis of his mitral valve, an infection that was causing the heart valve to leak. He needed antibiotic treatment.

Jampel’s family stayed in the hospital for his treatment, and Lodoe was amazed at how caring and compassionate all the staff members were.  Every morning, the nurses took Jampel for a ride in a bright red wagon to his echocardiogram tests, and he loved it so much. “I can’t say thank you enough to all the nurses who made Jampel feel so safe,” she says. “We feel blessed.”

According to Dr. Stern, Jampel’s valve leakage was severe enough that it was causing a strain on his heart and surgery was needed. Lodoe was devastated and unsure whether to consent to the surgery because Jampel was so young.  In a family meeting, Raghav Murthy, MD, a pediatric cardiovascular surgeon, explained the procedure and made the family feel comfortable.  The team at Mount Sinai assured Jampel’s family that they would do their best. Drs. Peter Pastuszko, David Adams and Raghav Murthy performed a complex operation and were able to successfully repair Jampel’s mitral valve with minimal residual leak.

   Jampel’s family were very happy with their stay in Mount Sinai Kravis Children Hospital. During his recovery period, the hospital’s child life specialists did all they could to make Jampel feel special. He was provided with toys, and he loved having visits with Professor, a facility dog specially trained to comfort young patients.

Jampel, who will soon be 3 years old, is doing very well, his mother says. He is smart and talkative, and has follow-up visits every six months with Dr. Stern, whom the family has found to be a kind, knowledgeable, compassionate, and loving doctor. Lodoe says, “Jampel is so grateful that God has given him so many wonderful pediatric doctors, surgeons, nurses, child life specialists, and social workers at Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital.”