Carolinas HealthCare System

Nine year old plays baseball after open heart surgery

Thanks to a collaborative effort from the care teams at Levine Children’s Hospital and Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute, 9-year-old Regan Smith is able to play baseball again.

Reagan received open heart surgery to fix what is called a subaortic membrane, where blood flow is obstructed from leaving the heart, making the heart work harder to pump blood to the rest of the body.  And just eight weeks after his surgery, Reagan was on the pitcher’s mound, and threw the first pitch of his game with his surgeon, Dr. Thomas Maxey, there to catch the ball.

Reagan Smith batting
Reagan Smith hits the ceremonial first pitch

Through the Porter Ridge Athletic Association, Reagan has played on three all-star teams and won two state championships and is thrilled to be able to play this season.

The Congenital Heart Center at Levine Children's Hospital is setting the standard of care for children and adults in the Southeast with congenital and thoracic disease heart disease. The physicians at Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute are nationally recognized, board-certified specialists who provide complete cardiovascular care from fetus to adulthood. Areas of specialty include neonatal cardiac surgery, pediatric cardiac surgery, heart failure and heart transplantation and adult congenital heart disease.

Levine Children's Hospital is the only facility in the region that provides pediatric open-heart surgery, pediatric catheterization lab, heart transplant and heart assistance devices and heart-lung bypass to support preemies and children with respiratory failure The facility also houses the region's first Pediatric Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU).

Visit the Congenital Heart Center at Levine Children's Hospital to learn more about pediatric cardiovascular surgery.

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