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Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital completes $166 million expansion

<i>WFOR</i><br/>Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital is soaring to new heights
Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital is soaring to new heights

By Jacqueline Quynh

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    HOLLYWOOD, Florida (WFOR) — Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital is soaring to new heights, as it completed a $166 million expansion, designed to meet the increasing pediatric needs of South Florida. And the completion may be just in time for one family waiting on a heart transplant.

“He’s been doing pretty good, handling it well and he’s excited, the angels are making his heart, we’re waiting for them to be done with it,” Brittni Scherrer, Gabe’s mom said. She told CBS 4 the wait could be days or weeks, but the wait means he could be one of the first to have surgery in the new section of the hospital.

“This is a new hybrid room that allows for the first time ever to perform both surgical catheterization procedures without having to move them,” Dr. Thomas Forbes, Chief of Cardiology shared as he showed media a new state-of-the-art operating room.

Without this kind of machinery and technology, heart patients would have to wait a day to do both procedures, requiring more trips to different parts of the hospital or buildings.

“It allows us 3-dimensional evaluations of the structures that we’re interested in to give us the best opportunity to get the repair we want,’ he explained.

The hospital, which added four new floors, has an intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging machine, otherwise known as IMRI. It helps give neurosurgeons a better look at the brain during surgery. “It’s life-changing in terms of quality of care and patient outcomes,” Dr. Daxa Patel, said.

There will also be 26 new pediatric ICU rooms, as well as 20 intermediate care beds, and new areas for rehab and play, the hospital now grows from 180,000 to about 400,000 square feet of space.

“There’s an obvious need,” Kevin Janser, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation President said. And that’s why he committed to raising $56 million dollars. A third of the nearly $170 million price tag is coming from community donors. Janser believes donors want to help children; children like Gabe who’s hopefully going to get a new heart soon. “He’s excited to be a normal kid, he’s ready for it,” Gabe’s mom said.

The new section of the hospital is expected to be up and running November 8.

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