A Heart Doctor With Heart

When Lauren Haddad, MD, detects a problem in a young child’s heart—including before birth—she’s as skilled at preparing parents to raise a child with a heart condition as she is at providing treatment.

Whether it’s assessing fetal hearts or screening thousands of area student athletes for hidden heart defects, Dr. Haddad and her colleagues at Pediatric Cardiology Associates, a partner of Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health, provide vital heart care to children throughout Louisiana.

Veteran pediatric cardiologist Michael Crapanzano, MD, leads the practice. Les Hixon, MD, specializes in heart catheterization procedures. Khushboo Parikh, MD, and Dr. Haddad are specialists in echocardiograms of fetuses and children. Dr. Haddad is skilled with a particular type called a transesophageal echocardiogram in which a probe inserted through the mouth down into the esophagus can capture clearer ultrasound images of the heart.

The team at Pediatric Cardiology Associates is especially good at diagnosing and treating complex congenital heart conditions.

“The earlier we catch them, the better prepared we can make the families,” said Dr. Haddad, who completed her residency and Fellowship training in pediatric cardiology at the University of Tennessee. “There’s lot of counseling that goes on with the families.”

That counseling can make all the difference in the world, said Eboney Reid, a Lafayette mother in whose days-old newborn daughter, Logan, doctors detected a murmur four years ago.

Logan was born with a hole in the lower half of her heart and would require surgery to repair the hole in order to survive beyond infancy.

Dr. Haddad started preparing Eboney and Logan’s father, Quinlan Joseph, almost immediately. She explained that for now Logan’s heart would function adequately, but a time would come that her heart would struggle and then fail. Doctors would step in before that happened to perform surgery to repair Logan’s heart.

When the day finally came that Logan needed surgery, her parents were ready. “I wasn’t nervous because they had prepared us,” Eboney said. “I remembered all the talks we’d had so I was very calm.”

The operation was a success. Today, she’s a healthy 4-year-old, a gymnastics enthusiast who has claimed one of her grandparents’ horses, Crystal, for her own. She feeds, waters and even rides Crystal.

“She’s a fighter,” said Eboney. “We see Dr. Haddad once a year, but so far everything is looking great.”