Teen Raises Over $4,000 for the Children’s Heart Center at Children’s Hospital of New Jersey and the Team Who Saved Her Life

Rajiv Verma, MD with Lauren Elsky during her and her family's visit to make a donation to the Child Life DepartmentRajiv Verma, MD, Pediatric and Adult Congenital Heart Disease Specialist, Interventional Cardiologist and Director, Children’s Heart Center at Children’s Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center meets with Lauren Elsky during her and her family’s visit to make a donation to the Child Life Department and to say “thank you” to the team that saved her life.

Newark, NJ (September 10, 2021) The Children’s Heart Center at Children’s Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (CHoNJ) was recently presented with a donation of over $4,000 from Lauren Elsky, money she raised as part of her Bat Mitzvah project this past summer. The funds will be designated for the Child Life Department, towards the purchase of toys for CHoNJ’s pediatric cardiothoracic intensive care unit, where Lauren was once a patient.

This project had special meaning for Lauren who was born with Pulmonary Stenosis, a birth defect of the heart. In 2011, at the tender age of 3 years old, she came to the Children’s Heart Center at CHoNJ for a cardiac catheterization procedure to repair her obstructed pulmonary valve. The procedure was done by Rajiv Verma, MD, pediatric and adult congenital heart disease specialist, interventional cardiologist and Director of the Children’s Heart Center at CHoNJ.

Now almost ten years later, she is paying it forward so that other hospitalized children can have access to a variety of toys and games; distractions that help minimize the stress and anxiety that pediatric patients often experience during a hospital stay or medical procedure.

“I happened to be part of the multidisciplinary team at ChoNJ that took care of her,” said Dr. Verma. “I am so happy for Lauren and proud of her endeavors. It is so nice to hear about how our children progress as they grow older.” According to her mother, Lauren also is interested in becoming a pediatric cardiologist when she grows up, a decision Dr. Verma thinks is “a good career choice!” His advice to Lauren is to follow her heart.

To support Children’s Hospital of New Jersey through Lauren’s Bat Mitzvah fundraising project, please visit rwjbh.donordrive.com/event/LaurenBatMitzvah. Contact the Development Department at 973-926-7018 for information on how to create your own fundraiser for Newark Beth Israel Medical Center or Children’s Hospital of New Jersey.

Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, is a 667-bed regional care teaching hospital that provides comprehensive health care. Newark Beth Israel is a Top Teaching Hospital and home to one of the nation’s top ten heart transplant centers, which has performed more than 1,000 heart transplants; RWJBarnabas Health’s Heart Failure Treatment and Transplant Program; New Jersey’s only Advanced Lung Disease and Transplant Program and a Valve Center that performs complex cardiac valve procedures, including minimally invasive transcatheter aortic valve replacements (TAVRs). The Newark Beth Israel robotic surgery program is the most experienced in northern New Jersey. RWJBarnabas Health and The Frederick B. Cohen, MD, Comprehensive Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey Breast Health Center, in partnership with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey - the state's only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center - brings a world class team of researchers and specialists to fight alongside you, providing close-to-home access to the latest treatment and clinical trials. Newark Beth Israel also offers many preventive health programs that promote wellness in the community, including The Beth Greenhouse, which provides access to fresh produce and health and wellness education to local residents.

Children’s Hospital of New Jersey (CHoNJ), located at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, cares for children from birth through adolescence, with more than 30 specialized pediatric services including New Jersey’s largest Valerie Fund Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders; and the Children’s Heart Center that offers a complete range of medical and surgical treatments for the most complex cardiac abnormalities. Children’s Hospital of New Jersey also includes a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and a Level IV Regional Perinatal Center that offers New Jersey’s first Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) therapy; and the highest level of intensive care for both mothers and newborns.

Contact:
Patricia Mitrano
973-926-7531
Patricia.mitrano@rwjbh.org