Isabella “Ella” Karst
Diagnosis: HLHS, Pulmonary Hypertension, End Stage Renal Disease
Physician: Dr. Christina Phelps
Isabella “Ella,” was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome before she was born. She has undergone multiple open heart surgeries and catheterizations at Nationwide Children’s over the course of her treatment in the first five years of her life. In the summer of 2017, Ella experienced complications with her Fontan procedure, resulting in an 89 day stay at NCH, the loss of her kidney function and reduced heart function.
Despite all these setbacks, Ella lives a full life with her two sisters and brings joy to everyone around her. She has adapted to her changing medical needs and continues to amaze her family and those around her every day.
In the words of her dad, “Ella probably loves crab legs more than any five-year-old on the planet!” She also loves to play putt-putt golf and ride her bike. She likes playgrounds, especially the swings. When she can’t go outside, Ella enjoys building LEGOs.
What does the Heart Center mean to Ella and her family?
“Nationwide Children's Hospital is an amazing organization and world-class facility that we are very lucky to have in our backyard. Ella's journey has been difficult for her and the rest of her family, and we have made many sacrifices along the way. However, looking back at that journey, it is impossible to imagine going through it at any other place than NCH. Every time we return, we see familiar, friendly faces that make Ella smile and feel special,” says Greg, Ella’s dad.