Following surgery for a congenital heart defect, a baby’s weight can fluctuate, which can indicate a problem.
The family of Jonathan Kirk, who passed after receiving a heart transplant, made a donation to Albany Medical Center, a member of the Albany Med Health System, that will make it easier for families to track their babies’ weight post-surgery.
On Friday, July 29, the Kirk Family donated five infant scales to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Albany Med. The scales will be loaned to families of children whose weight needs to be monitored after surgery.
“After surgery, the babies are in a very stressed state, and they’re very vulnerable,” said Neil Devejian, M.D., chief of the pediatric cardiothoracic division at Albany Med, a division of Albany Med Health System. “By monitoring weight and oxygen saturation, we can get an indication of whether things are going the wrong way and stave off a bigger problem.”
“This is very important to us,” said Kristin Mathews, vice president, area retail leader at KeyBank, member of the Capital Region Board of Directors of the American Heart Association, and sister of Jonathan Kirk, who passed away following a heart transplant, when he was just 35 years old. “Raising awareness was very important to Jonathan, as was preventing heart disease. It’s nice to be able to give back with this donation, and to connect something Jonathan was passionate about; something we’re passionate about; and to give back to the community.”
The Kirk Family has also provided lunch to families and staff in the NICU at Albany Med on New Year’s Day, Jonathan’s birthday.
The American Heart Association and Albany Med Health System are working together in a Live Fierce collaboration to improve the heart and brain health of Capital Region residents.
For information about congenital heart defects, visit https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/congenital-heart-defects