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From Pediatric Heart Patient to Pediatric Heart Nurse – Meet UH Rainbow nurse Bernadette!

From pediatric heart patient to pediatric heart nurse, Bernadette has a passion for nursing in part because she’s caring for patients just like her.

Bernadette was born at UH MacDonald Women’s Hospital when doctors discovered she had a congenital heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. As a young child, she underwent a series of operations at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s to help restore the function of her heart. These experiences, in particular her fond memories of her nurses, inspired her to attend nursing school. This month, Bernadette graduated from Kent State University with her BSN.

“Pediatric cardiology appealed to me because of my personal history as a congenital heart disease patient. When I started working with patients and families in Rainbow’s heart center, I knew it was a perfect fit. I felt comfortable, safe, and lucky to be there as a caregiver,” says Bernadette.

“Nursing is an important part of my life because the dedicated care of nurses is why I am alive today, and why I am so passionate about helping others. It is really inspiring to see the nurses work in the Rainbow heart center. I’m not sure they know how much what they do every day means to me as a former pediatric cardiac patient.”

Bernadette joined UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Cardiac Step Down Unit team last fall. We are so proud that she chose the congenital heart collaborative at UH Rainbow to begin her nursing career. Thank you for helping change kids’ health to change the future, for all of us!