Fort Worth, Texas,
14:38 PM

Close to our hearts: Child reunited with Teddy Bear Transport Team

Cook Children's patient meets team who helped save his life

Ethan Rosell is an active and ornery 2 year old. Like many boys his age, he loves every mode of transportation around. He loves trucks and airplanes. He even loves golf carts. His first time in a vehicle, though, is one his parents will never forget. At 3 days old, he was loaded into an ambulance piloted by Cook Children's Teddy Bear Transport team. 

When Ethan was born, his parents thought they had welcomed a healthy baby boy into the world. Just 24 hours later, their hearts were broken when a newborn screening revealed a serious problem.

"It was discovered that he has a congenital heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome," said Jennifer Rosell, Ethan's mother.

Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome is a complex and rare condition in which the left side of the heart is severely underdeveloped. Doctors at Baylor Medical Center in Grapevine, Texas immediately referred Ethan to the Heart Center at Cook Children's in Fort Worth, Texas, but getting there would prove challenging. While most ambulances are equipped to care for people of all shapes and sizes, it takes special training and tools to care for the tiniest of patients. That's why the Teddy Bear Transport team at Cook Children's was called in to help. Decked out in blue jumpsuits, the Teddy Bear team carefully loaded Ethan into an ambulance packed with medical tools made specifically for babies. The team then transported Ethan nearly 30 miles to Cook Children's where he would undergo emergency heart surgery.

"It was his first time riding in a vehicle," said Jennifer.

Ethan's parents never forgot that first ride, so when his daycare recently announced they were going to hold a boxcar parade, they knew exactly what kind of car to make. 

"We wanted to go with the Teddy Bear Transport theme since it's close to our hearts," said Jennifer.

Jennifer recently posted a video of Ethan and his boxcar on Cook Children's facebook page. The Rosell's were then invited to meet the team they credit with helping save Ethan's life. 

Ethan continues to be a patient at Cook Children's. He has undergone two surgeries to repair his heart but still has one to go. That procedure is expected to be performed sometime in the next 12 months. 

Today, the Rosell's were reunited with the Teddy Bear Transport team at Cook Children's aircraft hangar in North Fort Worth. Ethan was able to climb inside one of the blue and white ambulances and he even turned on the flashing lights. Don't be surprised if one day he's an official part of the Teddy Bear team. After all, he already owns the jumpsuit.

About Teddy Bear Transport

Cook Children's is supported by one of the largest pediatric transport programs in the nation. More than 2,400 children are transported to Cook Children's Medical Center annually from Texas and its surrounding states, most for critical care. Read more here.

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