When Massapequa Park mom Lauren Lanzillotta looks at her 6-month-old son, Ronald III, she is grateful. Grateful for the stellar pediatric cardiology care he has received at Winthrop-University Hospital, and grateful for the purpose he’s given to her and so many others.
Born with a rare congenital heart defect, dysplastic tricuspid valve with severe regurgitation which allows for an enlargement of the right atrium, baby Ronald has been under the care of a team of pediatric cardiologists at Winthrop, including Tasneem F. Hoque, MD, since birth. Wanting to connect with others whose children have been diagnosed with a congenital heart defect and spread hope, Lanzillotta joined the New York Chapter of the Children’s Heart Foundation (CHF-NY) – whose mission is to fund the most promising research to help improve the lives of children and families affected by congenital heart defects – where she now serves as a member of the Board of Directors.
In the spirit of the holiday season, CHF-NY, Lanzillotta, along with her family and friends, community members and Girl Scout Troop 2456 in Massapequa Park, collected over 800 toys for Winthrop’s Child Life Program. The group recently visited the Hagedorn Pediatric Inpatient Center at Winthrop to deliver all of these special gifts.
“We are so thankful for this toy donation,” said Nicole Almeida, MS, CCLS, Director of the Child Life Program at Winthrop. “We depend on this, and it truly goes a long way, helping to put smiles on the faces of our young patients and their family members the whole year through.”
“Our son is helping so many boys and girls already, and he doesn’t even know it,” said Lanzillotta. “He’s given me purpose, and it gives us joy to know these toys will benefit so many patients at Winthrop.”
The CHF-NY toy drive collected over 4,000 toys for children at local hospitals. For more information about the New York Chapter of the Children’s Heart Foundation, visit http://newyork.childrensheartfoundation.org. For more information about the breadth and depth of pediatric cardiology services at Winthrop, call 1-866-WINTHROP or visit www.winthrop.org.