OU Children’s Cardiac Center starts program to give children “Beads of Courage”

"The different color ones, that's therapy."

Mother of three Candy Hainbecher shows us Preston's many beads.

This silver heart represents a particularly special charm.

“He had his first open heart surgery at five months old," Candy Hainbecher said.

Preston is now two and recently had his second open heart surgery, but you'd never know it on this day.

"He's doing great. Full of energy."

Preston was born with a congenital heart defect that will need to be monitored for the rest of his life.

"you can't fix a broken heart. You can mend it, but you can't fix it,” Hainbecher said.

These beads will also go with him thanks to the Beads of Courage program new to the children's heart center at OU Children's Hospital.

Each bead symbolizes a different aspect of Preston’s medical journey.

"Figure out he's had this many pokes and this many medicines daily and this many Xrays today, so many things every day and it gets pretty boring in the hospital so it gives me something to do,” Hainbecher said.

Dr. Harold Burkhart spear headed this program for the cardiac center.

He believes it will make a big difference these little warriors.

"It allows them to be able to show where they've been and remember where they've been and show family and friends what they've been through and maybe gives them a bit of courage before they go through the next step,” Dr. Harold Burkhart, co-medical director of the Children’s Heart Center at The Children’s Hospital and medical director of the pediatric cardiovascular surgical services said.

And offers some anxiety relief for the trauma they've had to endure.

“I think the big thing often is that the thing they had to get over they've done it so there's some relief,” Dr. Burkhart said

"And it shows me daily and it shows the family daily that you can go back and look at what he has gone through," Hainbecher said.

For more information visit http://www.beadsofcourage.org/

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