Hearts of Gold


“I’ll never forget the look of joy and excitement on the mom’s face when I was the first one to tell the family that their child was getting a heart transplant,” smiles Allie Levine, a pediatric nurse at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital. “I followed that family all the way through to the pediatric intensive care unit and back to our unit. I love listening to the new heartbeat with the families. It’s a special occasion. We become so much a part of the care that we become part of the family. We’re all waiting for them to get a transplant. We all share in their joy.

We have a kid here right now who’s waiting for a heart transplant. Hopefully, I’ll be here when she gets the call that she’s getting the organ. A lot of times, we know that the organ is available before the family does. But, we don’t want to get them too excited because the transplant doesn’t always happen. We’ll do some labs and prep them, but we keep it on the down-low, which is always hard. We don’t want to get them excited to soon, but we’re all waiting for the organ to come in. I love working with children. They’re fun, they’re resilient and they have hearts of gold.”