Covenant Children’s partnership means less travel for patients

Covenant Children’s partnership means less travel for patients

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - An existing partnership between Covenant Children’s in Lubbock and Cook Children’s in Fort Worth now includes a way to make complex pediatric heart procedures possible here.

Before this week, patients and their families would have to travel to either Fort Worth or Albuquerque to have special cardiothoracic procedures done.

“It’s way easier not having to travel with four kids," Michelle Rosalez, said. "So, then have to travel back after one had surgery.”

Adrian Rosalez, 4, is currently in the ICU, recovering well. His mother, Michelle, says with three other children at home, staying in Lubbock brings less stress to Adrian’s surgery.

This new partnership between the two hospitals can also benefits other families not traveling to places where there are more COVID-19 cases.

Adrian was one of the first two pediatric cardiothoracic surgery patients inside Covenant Children’s.

“He has a vascular ring," Michelle Rosalez said. "And the way Dr. (Vincent) Tam explained it to us is, he has what looks like a string … is not supposed to be there.”

Dr. Vincent Tam, the medical director of cardiothoracic surgery at Cook Children’s, is the doctor who came from Fort Worth to help Adrian.

It was Tam, two other doctors, operating room staff and an ICU team made the trip to Lubbock.

“Heart surgery is not a simple thing, I can’t take my suitcase of instruments, come to West Texas and do surgery," Tam said. "Heart surgery requires a large team of people, it requires a significant collaborative effort.”

Dr. David Gray, chief medical officer of Covenant, says this partnership adds another feature to his hospital that cannot be found nearby.

“Cook Chlidren’s and Covenant Children’s developed a partnership, which allowed Cook Children’s to come to Covenant and perform procedures on a recurring basis,” Gray said.

The plan, for the foreseeable future is to have the team from Cook come to Lubbock once every quarter.

Now for Adrian it’s on to a quick recovery.

“He’s hoping for 2-3 days here in the hospital and then," Michelle Rosalez said, "he said, probably within a week he might be back to his original self.”

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