Vivian P.

UCLA Health article

Hometown: Thousand Oaks, CAGame: UCLA vs. Cincinatti

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Vivian has a purple belt in karate, enjoys singing and dancing to Katy Perry songs and loves to color. She also has a heart of gold, organizing a toy drive at her preschool and presenting the donations to UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital and the UCLA Children’s Heart Center in hopes that pediatric patients would enjoy them just as much as she enjoyed the toys provided during her stay.

Getting to this point has not been easy for Vivian, who was born with a complex congenital heart defect. At just 10 days old, she had open-heart surgery and spent the first six months of her life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. She has had multiple surgeries and cardiac interventions since.

Through it all, Vivian’s spirit has never wavered. The courage and perseverance she displayed during her treatment helped earn her UCLA Kid Captain honors for the Bruins’ football season opener against Cincinnati on Sept. 1 at the Rose Bowl.

“Vivian is very excited to be Kid Captain. It’s as if she’s conquering the whole world,” said her mother, Judy.

Vivian was joined at the game by her parents, twin sister, younger brother, grandparents and aunt as well as her cardiologist, Mark Sklansky, MD, Chief of Pediatric Cardiology and Medical Director at the Children’s Heart Center.

The group was escorted to the Bruin Game Day tent before the game, then walked over to the UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital kid zone, complete with bounce houses for children to explore. Vivian and her family also watched warm-ups on the field and met Joe and Josie Bruin, the school’s mascots. She also spent time with the cheerleading team, receiving a cheerleading outfit that was her favorite, and was recognized on the field during a break in the game.

“I love being Kid Captain!” Vivian said.

Visit the UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital, Los Angeles for all of your Pediatric Care needs. Schedule an appointment today.