LLUAHSC hosts Heritage Society Dinner
Kavitha, Bob, and Kannan Harrington share their story of Kannan’s experience at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital with the Heritage Society members.
On Monday, April 23, Heritage Society members were treated to a dinner in Wong Kerlee International Conference Center.
During the dinner, B. Lyn Behrens, MBBS, president and CEO of Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center, reported $43 million had been raised in the Centennial Complex campaign.
“Thank you for your continued support and for partnering with us for our future,” said Dr. Behrens.
During dinner, Ruthita Fike, MA, CEO and administrator of Loma Linda University Medical Center, and Zareh Sarrafian, MBA, administrator of the Children’s Hospital, provided an institutional update. Most of the update focused on the growing need for pediatric care in the Inland Empire, as illustrated by the story shared by the Harrington family that evening.
Born in Upland in 2005, doctors told parents Bob and Kavitha Harrington that their son, Kannan, merely had a heart murmur. Uncomfortable with this diagnosis, the Harringtons took their son for a second opinion to discover he had ventricular septal defect (VSD). The septum is a wall that separates the heart’s left and right sides. Septal defects are sometimes called a “hole” in the heart. A defect between the heart’s two lower chambers (the ventricles) is called a ventricular septal defect.
When there is a large opening between the ventricles, a large amount of oxygen-rich (red) blood from the heart’s left side is forced through the defect into the right side. Then it’s pumped back to the lungs, even though it’s already been refreshed with oxygen. This is inefficient, because already-oxygenated blood displaces blood that needs oxygen. This means the heart, which must pump more blood, may enlarge from the added work. High blood pressure may occur in the lungs’ blood vessels because more blood is there. Over time, this increased pulmonary hypertension may permanently damage the blood vessel walls.
The Harringtons were told that for pediatric heart surgery, and specifically for the treatment for VSD, if they wanted the best they needed to go to Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital. The family from Rancho Cucamonga had never heard of LLUCH, but quickly learned where to find it. After bringing Kannan in to be seen by the physicians at the Children’s Hospital, Mrs. Kavitha knew they were in the right place.
“We felt very comfortable with the hands our son’s care were in at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital,” remarked Mrs. Kavitha at the dinner. And on December 5, 2005, surgeons stopped Kannan’s heart for 45 minutes and repaired the hole between its ventricles. The Harringtons were able to take Kannan home 27 hours after the surgery.
At the dinner, Mr. Harrington, who works for U.S. Tournament Golf, announced the creation of the Kannan Invitational golf tournament benefiting Loma Linda Children’s University Hospital (for more details visit <www.ustournamentgolf.com/kannan_2007.htm>).
“In December of 2005, our son Kannan had open heart surgery at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital,” says Mr. Harrington. “Today, Kannan is a healthy, happy child with his sights on the PGA tour, but without the care and help of LLUCH, his future might have had a different outcome. We want to give back to the hospital.”
After the family’s story, Ms. Fike and Mr. Sarrafian revealed the plan for a new Pediatric Maternal Health Science Center.
“To respond to the growing geographical challenges, we needed a strategic vision for the Children’s Hospital,” mentioned Ms. Fike. The new facility, to be built just west of Loma Linda Academy, will be a new pediatric hub with 343 beds and host doctors’ offices to concentrate pediatric specialists at one location.
Mr. Sarrafian reported the bold plan would require $700 million to complete, and that half of the funds would need to be raised through fundraising efforts.
“I wholly endorse this as a hub for championing the health and well-being of children around the world,” stated Dr. Behrens after the presentation.
Membership in the Heritage Society is extended to anyone who includes a gift to Loma Linda University, Loma Linda University Medical Center, and/or LLU Children’s Hospital as part of his or her estate plan.
Donors who make these types of provisions do so through a bequest in their will, a trust, a gift annuity, pooled income fund participation, a life insurance policy, or other planned gift.
Heritage Society members receive Loma Linda University and Medical Center publications, a handsome certificate suitable for framing, and invitations to special recognition events.
If you or someone you know would like more information about the Heritage Society, call the office of planned giving at (909) 558-4553, or write: Heritage Society, Office of the Vice President for Advancement, Loma Linda University and Medical Center, Loma Linda, California 92354.
By Preston Clarke Smith