Luke Rose, a 7-year-old from Bel Air, Maryland, was born with a heart murmur. When he was 18 months old, he received an echocardiogram that revealed he had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a complex disease that makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood.
Soon after this diagnosis, Luke sought treatment at the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital where his condition was monitored by pediatric cardiologist Peter Gaskin, MBBS, DCH, FAAP, FACC.
But on Halloween in 2014, Luke went into cardiac arrest and was taken by ambulance to the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center. Doctors there quickly realized the severity of Luke’s condition and flew him to the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital, where he spent a week in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).
It was during that time that Sunjay Kaushal, MD, PhD, director of pediatric cardiac surgery, placed an internal defibrillator in Luke’s heart to treat his arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat). Now, when Luke’s heart starts to beat irregularly, his internal defibrillator helps to restore a normal heartbeat. Without this device, Luke would not be alive today.
There are times when Luke still requires hospitalization. Every six months, he sees pediatric cardiologist Sudhir Vashist, MBBS, MD. As a precaution, Luke’s family always carries with them an automated external defibrillator (AED), which is used to treat sudden cardiac arrest. Luke’s family is now completing the preliminary work to have Luke placed on the heart transplant list, anticipating that he will need one.
While Luke has been through a lot in his young life, he is still an average 7-year-old who is enjoying life. He loves video games, action figures, swimming, golf, riding his bike and playing with his friends.
Luke has an incredible imagination and is fascinated by space and the planets, with dreams of one day becoming an astronaut.
PETER GASKIN, MBBS, DCH, FAAP, FACC, is Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Pediatric Cardiologist in the Children’s Heart Program at the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital.
SUNJAY KAUSHAL, MD, PhD, is Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Director of Pediatric and Adult Congenital Surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center and Co-Director of the Children’s Heart Program at the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital.
SUDHIR VASHIST, MBBS, MD, is Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Pediatric Cardiologist in the Children’s Heart Program at the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital.
To support the Children's Heart Program, please click here.