Eduardo P Born With a Condition Called Transposition of the Great Arteries

“As a parent, my sole purpose in life is to make my child happy,” said Diana, Eduardo’s mom. “For him, I always want to make the impossible possible.”

Eduardo Patino was born with a condition called transposition of the great arteries, which is a rare but serious heart defect in which the two main arteries leaving the heart are reversed. In the middle of a procedure to ease his condition, Eduardo suffered a heart attack and doctors told his family that they were not confident he would have a high quality of life.

Devastated, Eduardo’s parents turned to family for support. Having physicians and medical experts in their immediate circles, Eduardo’s parents heard other opinions that therapy and rehabilitation could help him thrive.

As a parent, my sole purpose in life is to make my child happy,” said Diana, Eduardo's mom. For him, I always want to make the impossible possible. When Eduardo was six years old, his family made the move from Louisiana to New Jersey and immediately searched for the best care team for their son. Their several years of experience with Eduardo's pre-existing condition led them to search for a pediatric physiatrist.

Pediatric physiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in the rehabilitation care and medical management of children with conditions that impact their neurologic, muscular and/or skeletal systems. They understand how cognitive and physical disabilities affect growth and development and they work with patients and families by leading a rehabilitation team to develop and direct individualized treatment. Their main objectives are to restore or improve function and maximize the quality of life.

I know that physiatrists are uncommon,” said Diana. “I began my search online and knew I had to find only the best of the best to treat my son.

When Diana found Dr. Shoval from an online search, she immediately made an appointment for her son to see her at Children's Specialized Hospital in Clifton. They connected right away, and the Patino family felt comfortable under her guidance and care. Dr. Shoval is so good at her job,” shared Diana. She has truly helped us learn how to cater to our son so he can live a good life.

Eduardo Patino In addition to seeing a pediatric physiatrist, Eduardo also visits the Rehabilitation Technology Department at Children’s Specialized Hospital in Mountainside for all of his adaptive equipment needs both inside and outside of their home. There, physical therapists evaluate Eduardo and assist his family to select equipment that best meets their family’s needs.

“Eduardo is always on the go and always wants to be involved in what we’re doing,” his mom added. “If I’m going for a walk, he wants to follow. If I’m grocery shopping, he’s right behind me picking fruit.”

Having the right type of adaptive equipment was vital in allowing Eduardo to reach his full potential.

When Diana thinks about the first time physicians told her that her son couldn’t live a normal life, it nearly brings her to tears. She says that today, her son inspires her and those around her to view no obstacle as too large. She says, “With love, you can do anything.”