Meet WSA Kids With Heart

January Featured Kid - Madison Stahl

Madison Stahl is 8 years old and was born with a hole in her heart called atrial defect (ASD). As a result Madison's heart beats too fast sometimes and had to have a procedure called catheter ablation to fix her heart rhythm. Read more about our featured Kid With Heart  Madison.

Kids With Heart is a program that recognizes young local heart and stroke survivors who serve as ambassadors for the American Heart Association and inspiration for us all. Through sharing their story and encouraging others to support Jump Rope and Hoops For Heart, they are helping the American Heart Association build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke. To join Kids With Heart share your story.



Otto Xavier OlsonMy name is Otto Xavier Olson and I am 7 years old. I was born with a CHD called Supra TAPVR. I was diagnosed hours after birth. I had a life saving open heart surgery when I was 18 hours old. I was in the hospital for the first two weeks of my life. I am now heart healthy and just like other 7 year olds my age I enjoy school, playing with my friends, boy scouts and riding my bicycle. I had to see my pediatric cardiologist weekly then monthly and then yearly until I was 2 years old and then I was given the all clear for two year visits. I have to eat a healthy diet full of fruits and veggies and heart healthy fats. I drink a lot of water and stay active to keep my special heart strong and healthy. I stay involved in CHD awareness by telling others about my story. I participate in the heart walk and the jump rope for heart to help raise awareness and support for CHD research so I can help other children and families of children born with broken hearts like me.

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Madison Stahl My name is Maddy Stahl, and I am 8 years old. I was born with a hole in my heart called atrial septal defect (ASD). My heart also beats too fast sometimes, so on March 15, 2013, I had a procedure called a catheter ablation to fix my heart rhythm. Eventually, I had to have open heart surgery to repair the hole, too. After both operations, I needed a pacemaker to help my heart continue to beat normally. I get my pacemaker checked every three months and my doctor says the batteries will need to be changed about every six years. I am now just a regular kid that loves to play, run and draw. I am super healthy and have an extra cool heart.

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Annabelle ProvisorTwelve hours after Anabelle Provisor was born, a nurse’s assistant noticed she was having trouble nursing. “She would latch on, but was soon sleepy and lethargic,” recalled Arlene Provisor, Anabelle’s mom. A pulse oximetry reading – a diagnostic test mandated by most states for all newborns – showed Anabelle’s oxygen levels were low, and she was admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit.
Arlene and her husband Bruce weren’t able to see their newborn daughter until a few hours later. They found her intubated and hooked up to several I.V. lines and machines, as doctors tried to discover what was wrong.

"We were very emotional," she said.

Tests revealed Anabelle was born with a critical congenital heart defect in which the pulmonary artery and aorta are reversed, called d-transposition of the great arteries. Instead of oxygen-rich blood going from the lungs to the rest of the body, Anabelle's heart was sending it back to the lungs. 
You can read more of Anabelle's story here.

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Ihilani Hatori My name is Ihilani Hatori but my family calls me Bonkie. I live with my mom, dad, 2 brothers and 2 sisters in Mt. View, Hawaii. My heart needs checking up once every month to be sure it is working right. On August 17, 2011, my sister passed away from a heart problem. At the time, we didn't know why she passed and doctors couldn't find any reason in the autopsies, so they said, her heart stopped working. She was healthy, funny, loving and the best sister ever. She took care of me, played with me and made me laugh. I love and miss my sister Michiko Hatori. This year on April 6, she would have been 22 years old. After all this, we all got tested and found out that my 2 brothers and I have the same problem with our hearts but less severe. My older brother who is going to be 13 soon needs to check up a little bit more than my other brother and I, but doctor said he is doing fine and is able to play sports. In fact, we all are. My 2 brothers play football and baseball and I am a cheerleader. My other two sisters do not have any problems with their hearts and they cheer too. My mom knows how important it is to check up and be sure that our hearts are functioning great. She does not want to lose any of us anymore and I am happy to have a mom who cares for us as she does. She is the best and she knows that our lives count.

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Aidan JonzMy name is Aidan. I am seven years old and live in Hayden with my mom, dad and sister Addison. Like most boys my age I love super heroes and Xbox and Star Wars. I am not like every little boy my age though. You see, when I was born I had holes in my heart. My mom says that I was a very sick little boy for the first couple of months of my life.

When I was 2 months old I went to the big hospital in Spokane (Sacred Heart Children's Hospital) and had surgery to fix the holes in my heart. When I was in surgery, I had a stroke. My mom says a stroke is when you get an ouchie on your brain. My ouchies occurred on the left side of my brain, making the right side of my body a little weaker.
I have worked very hard since I was that little baby with holes in his heart and ouchies on his brain. I have had speech therapy and OT and PT. I get extra help in school and therapists come to my house to help me learn there.

I want kids with heart problems or strokes to know that they can do anything. They can be a warrior just like me.

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Aaron IsaksonMeet Aaron Isakson. Aaron was born with a severe congenital heart defect called HLHS. His parents had to move to another state so that a special team of doctors and nurses could work on his heart and save his life. Aaron’s mom says that he had surgeries at 4 days old, 4 months old, and 3 years old. He is now 5 years old and doesn’t really remember the times that he had his surgeries. He is proud of the special scars that are on his chest. They show how brave and strong he is, like Superman, Batman and Spiderman. Aaron loves his hospital and misses his doctors. They take great care of his heart to this day.

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Alexia TorresMy name is Alexia Torres. I am 8 years old and I am a survivor of congenital heart disease. I was just a fetus when my mother found out about my condition. At first doctors told her it was life threatening because I had a lot of fluid backed up in my heart. As months went on and I grew in my mommy's tummy my heart made significant changes and was told that I would make it to full term. I was born months later weighing at 6 pounds 6 ounces 19 inches long. I was your average newborn. Doctors checked my vitals to make sure if I needed to be rushed into surgery for my heart repair. Fortunately my oxygen and everything else they checked for was 100 %. I stayed in the hospital for 5 days not because of my heart but for having jaundice. My parents took me home after a week in the hospital just as if nothing was wrong.

Fast forwarding to six months old it was about that time my cardiologist felt it was needed to do a full repair for my tetrology of fallot. My surgery went great! My hole was patched and I was given a shunt for my pulmonary aorta. I spent 5 days in pediatric ICU where doctors were amazed at how fast I recovered. I was a super baby! Child hood was normal and still is but at 8 years old i still have obstacles to over come. June of 2016 my mother was told I needed to have a valve put in to stop leakage in my heart. My surgery was done via catheter, it was a one night stay easy peasy.

Now I have this valve I should be more of energy and extend my limits of things I can do but we will continue for see. I still get tired very fast and I know I have a long road ahead of me. My parents always uplift me and tell me I can do anything I set my mind to just as long as I know my limits. I take aspirin on a daily basis to keep from forming bloods clots so I don't risk infection of my valve. It is not great all the time because I bleed a lot if I cut myself on something or I tend to bruise easily now. All of that is no fun but it isn't a big deal.
I get to do plenty of things like other kids with normal hearts. Kids with congenital heart disease are warriors and survivors. We get to wear a zipper all the time!

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Alice ArnoldAlice was born with a CHD called AVSD (Atrial Ventricular Septal Defect) meaning she had 1 big hole in her heart leading from the top to the bottom. She had surgery at 2 months old to repair it and a pacemaker placed about 2 weeks after that. During the first 4 years, she had a normal life, played had friends, went to play dates and just about anything a 4 year old would do. Shortly before Alice turned 5 she collapsed during drop off at preschool. She was taken by ambulance to Doernbecher where they figured out her pacemaker lead had fractured, and they needed to repair it fast. During this time, Alice coded and they needed to do 4 rounds of CPR to bring her back. All the CPR messed with the natural rhythm of her heart and created other problems.

Despite all this, Alice is now and amazing and vibrant 6 year old.

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Lucas Rowbury My name is Lucas. I am the oldest of 5 kids, I have 3 brothers and 1 sister. I love Legos, reading and playing basketball with my friends. When I was born I immediately turned blue. It was determined that I would be flown to Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake from Rexburg, Idaho (where I was born). At PCMC the doctors told my parents that I had Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA). At 6 days old I had open heart surgery, an arterial switch, to fix my heart. I was in the hospital for almost a month. I went home and had a feeding tube, a picc line and was on lots of medicines. I am really lucky, I haven't had to have more than one surgery. I see a doctor every other year and have to be careful about which sports I play. I love having a "zipper scar" to show everyone!

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Ava Wyzykowski My name is Ava Wyzykowski and I am 7 years old. I was born on November 18th 2008. During my first night I stopped breathing and my heart rate dropped really low. This happened several timesthroughout the night. The morning of the 19th I was taken by the panda care team ambulance crew to legacy Emanuel in Portland, Or. I spent three days in the NICU having several more episodes where I stopped breathing. The doctors never could figure out what was wrong with my heart. All they could tell my mom and dad was that they thought here was a problem with one of my heart valves. After 3 days I stopped having any problems and as sent home. I haven't had any problems with my heart since then. My parents have told me about the other babies they saw in the NICU who had heart problems and needed surgeries. I would like to help raise money to help make their hearts better.

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