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Recommended Reading for Patients and Families

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Many of these books can be checked out from the Family Resource Center at Seattle Children’s or found at your local library or bookstore. Here, we've provided you with links to Amazon.com.

Cardiac Kids: A Book for Families Who Have a Child with Heart Disease by Vicci Elder, Annie King
For families with children affected with heart defects to read together. It covers being diagnosed with heart disease, explains many of the medical tests a child will experience and discusses some of the stresses siblings may feel.

Heart Defects in Children: What Every Parent Should Know by Cheryl J. Wild
A reassuring guide for parents that explains a complex topic in simple, easy-to-understand terms. Includes information on infection of the heart and its valves, common tests a child may need, questions to ask your doctor, commonly used medications and future risk factors.

Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome: A Handbook for Parents by Anna Marie Jaworski, Frank Jaworski (illustrator)
Jaworski, whose son has hypoplastic left-heart syndrome, wrote this book so parents of children with this condition don't have to go through the frustrations she did when her son was diagnosed. Includes information on support groups and what to expect from physicians and other healthcare providers.

It's My Heart by the Children's Heart Foundation
One of the most popular primers for families facing pediatric heart problems. Offers easy-to-understand descriptions of how the heart works, different conditions, various treatments, medications, hospitalization and living with a heart condition.

Matty's Heart: A Child's and Parents' Guide to Open-Heart Surgery by Jean Clabough, Sandra Sovern-Leedham
Real children and their families share their experiences with heart disease. Includes testimony from a 4-year-old boy who shares his story of living with heart disease for several years.

The Heart of a Child: What Families Need to Know About Heart Disorders in Children by Catherine A. Neill, MD, Edward B. Clark, Carleen Clark
A comprehensive guide written for parents of a child with heart problems. Includes new and updated information on the genetics of heart defects, new approaches to treatment, prenatal care and a list of information resources.

The Heart of a Mother by Anna Marie Jaworski (preface), Judy Norwood (introduction)
A collection of heartwarming stories from mothers of children with congenital heart defects.

The Parent's Guide to Children's Congenital Heart Defects: What They Are, How to Treat Them, How to Cope with Them by Sylvester Stallone (foreword), Gerri Freid Kramer, Shari Maurer
Written by two parents of children with congenital heart defects. A simple question-and-answer format includes responses from more than 30 experts in pediatric cardiology.

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