Seattle Children’s video simplifies a complex heart surgery

This four-minute piece humanizes the device and procedure that remedy a little boy’s heart issues. For communicators, it’s a guide to distilling the medical aspects into a wonderful story.    

This four-minute piece humanizes the device and procedure that remedy a little boy’s heart issues. For communicators, it’s a guide to distilling the medical aspects into a wonderful story.

Communicators are always encouraged to put a face on a story.

The marketing and PR team at Seattle Children’s Hospital tell the story of a 7-year-old named AJ in just that way. His angelic face helps convey the human side of the struggle to vanquish the life-threatening virus that attacked his heart.

This segment also succeeds because sandwiched in between the boy’s birthday party footage and an interview with his parents is a straightforward explanation about AJ’s surgery.

The ventricular assist device, or VAD, may not be well known, but Dr. Michael McMullen shows viewers how the CentriMag pump works to help people experiencing heart failure. Dr. McMullen becomes the “face” of the assistive device.

In the end, a boy tells his story, a doctor shows off a heart pump, and a birthday party is celebrated with cake and with AJ tickling the ivories.

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