Bethany expected a problem when she was pregnant with her second daughter, Jordyn. Her older daughter had been born with a heart issue and is a patient of pediatric cardiologist Olga Toro-Salazar, MD. Care at Connecticut Children’s Heart Center begins before birth – so her pediatric cardiology team recommended screening Jordyn in utero in order to arrange a safe delivery, and then again after birth. Halfway through the pregnancy, baby Jordyn’s heart was functioning well. And when she was born, on June 23, 2011, it seemed that she was, in fact, a healthy baby. The doctors heard a slight heart murmur shortly after birth, but otherwise she did very well and was discharged home. A couple of days later, Bethany brought Jordyn in for her first checkup. This time, the doctors heard something much more concerning. They discovered she had pulmonary stenosis: The valve controlling blood flow to her lungs was not opening wide enough. They immediately brought Jordyn to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and scheduled her surgery for the next morning.

Jordyn as an infant at Connecticut Children's

High-tech care for healthy hearts

As the state’s only health system 100 percent dedicated to kids, Connecticut Children’s provides the same expertise, cutting-edge technology and research innovations as larger institutions – but close to home and part of an integrated health experience.

That includes minimally invasive procedures for patients like Jordyn.

In Connecticut Children’s Catheterization Lab, the doctor made a small incision in Jordyn’s groin and inserted a long, thin tube into a blood vessel. Using sophisticated imaging, they guided that tube to the blocked valve and inserted a small balloon into the opening, inflating it to push the opening wider and allow the valve to begin functioning properly. Then they deflated the balloon, pulled the tube out, and stitched up the tiny incision.

“From the imaging,” Bethany says, “they thought the percentage of closure would be in the 70s, but when they went in, they found it was much worse. In fact, that valve was 92 percent closed. They couldn’t believe she lasted as long as she did. We were lucky that the doctors were on their game and looked at her as quickly as they did.”

Jordyn, 2021 Connecticut Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Champion

Speaking up for kids’ health

To look at Jordyn today, you’d never guess she had any kind of issue as a baby. She is now very active and enjoys dancing competitively. “She’s doing flips and tricks and dancing for hours on end,” Bethany says. “She has some nights where she dances for four and a half hours straight.”

She’s also building engineering projects that come in the mail every month and working her way through a book series of biographies of famous people.

“I like to hang out with my friends,” Jordyn says. “And go swimming. I also like making cookies. I like the process but I really like the finished product.”

Her other passion? Being an advocate for children’s health.

Jordyn possesses a competitive drive and determination that lets everyone around her know the sky is the limit. Those qualities, and more, contributed to her being selected as Connecticut Children’s 2021 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champion Child.

Want to learn more about how Connecticut Children's is supported as a partner of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals?

Learn More