Tips & Terminology

Hospital Tips

  • Be your child’s advocate! Don’t be afraid to ask why things are being done and what the medications are for.
  • Ask about a parking pass and meal coupons.
  • Bring your camera.
  • Journal and write down questions to help remember daily events.
  • Bring toiletries and laundry soap to wash your clothes.
  • Pack your own meals to keep in your child’s room to help cut down on meal costs.
  • Take your child’s favorite toys, blankets, books, movies.
  • Bring sticker books or coloring books.
  • Pack your child’s favorite bandages (Dora, Spiderman, etc.).



Angiogram — An x-ray of blood vessels which can be seen because the patient receives an injection of dye to outline the vessels on the x-ray.

Aorta — The largest artery in the body, the aorta arises from the left ventricle of the heart, goes up (ascends) a little ways, bends over (arches), then goes down (descends) through the chest and through the abdomen to where ends by dividing into two arteries called the common iliac arteries that go to the legs.

Aortic — Pertaining to the aorta, the largest artery in the body.

Artery — A vessel that carries blood high in oxygen content away from the heart to the farthest reaches of the body. Since blood in arteries is usually full of oxygen, the hemoglobin in the red blood cells is oxygenated. The resultant form of hemoglobin (oxyhemoglobin) is what makes arterial blood look bright red.

Atresia — Absence of a normal opening or failure of a structure to be tubular.

Artia — The plural of atrium. The atria are the two smaller chambers of the heart. Each atrium consists of an open space with recessed walls.

Artium — One of the two smaller chambers of the heart. Each atrium consists of an open space with recessed walls. The plural of atrium is atria.


Cardiovascular — The circulatory system comprising the heart and blood vessels which carries nutrients and oxygen to the tissues of the body and removes carbon dioxide and other wastes from them.

Catheter — A thin, flexible tube. For example, a catheter placed in a vein provides a pathway for giving drugs, nutrients, fluids, or blood products. Samples of blood can also be withdrawn through the catheter.

Coronary arteries — The vessels that supply the heart muscle with blood rich in oxygen. They are called the coronary arteries because they encircle the heart in the manner of a crown. The word “coronary” comes from the Latin “corona” and Greek “koron” meaning crown. Like other arteries, the coronaries may be subject to arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). There are a number of coronary arteries. Those most often bypassed today include the right coronary artery, the posterior descending coronary artery, the left main coronary artery, the left anterior descending coronary artery and the left circumflex coronary artery. Plaques obstructing the coronary arteries may also be treated by balloon angioplasty, stents, and other techniques.

Cyanosis — A bluish color of the skin and the mucous membranes due to insufficient oxygen in the blood. For example, the lips may show cyanosis. Cyanosis can be evident at birth, as in a “blue baby” who has a heart malformation that permits blood that is not fully oxygenated to enter the arterial circulation. Cyanosis can also appear at any time later in life.


Electrocardiogram — A recording of the electrical activity of the heart. An electrocardiogram is a simple, non-invasive procedure. Electrodes are placed on the skin of the chest and connected in a specific order to a machine that, when turned on, measures electrical activity all overaround the heart. Output is usually in the form of a long scroll of paper displaying a printed graph of activity. Newer models output the data directly to a computer and screen, although a print-out may still be made.


Heart valves — There are four heart valves. All are one-way valves. Blood entering the heart first passes through the tricuspid valve and then the pulmonary valve. After returning from the lungs, the blood passes through the mitral (bicuspid) valve and exits via the aortic valve.

Hypertension — High blood pressure, defined as a repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg — a systolic pressure above 140 with a diastolic pressure above 90.

Hypertrophy — Enlargement or overgrowth of an organ or part of the body due to the increased size of the constituent cells. Hypertrophy occurs in the biceps and heart because of increased work. Cardiac hypertrophy is recognizable microscopically by the increased size of the cells. The term hypertrophy is applied to the enlargement of the uterus during pregnancy. The term benign prostatic hypertrophy is a misnomer because the increased size of the prostate is due to hyperplasia, an increase in the number of cells.


Left atrium — The upper right chamber of the heart. The left atrium receives oxygenated blood from the lungs and pumps it down into the left ventricle which delivers it to the body.

Left ventricle — The left lower chamber of the heart that receives blood from the left atrium and pumps it out under high pressure through the aorta to the body.


Pulmonary artery — One of the two vessels which are formed as terminal branches of the pulmonary trunk and convey unaerated blood to the lungs. The two pulmonary arteries differ in length and anatomy.

Pulmonary valve — One of the four valves in the heart, the pulmonary valve stands at the opening from the right ventricle in the pulmonary artery trunk. It lets blood head in the right direction (toward the lungs) and keeps it from sloshing back from the pulmonary artery into the heart.


Regurgitation — A backward flowing. For example, of food. Or the sloshing of blood back into the heart (or between chambers of the heart) when a heart valve is incompetent and does not close effectively.

Right atrium — The right upper chamber of the heart. The right atrium receives deoxygenated blood from the body through the vena cava and pumps it into the right ventricle which then sends it to the lungs to be oxygenated.

Right ventricle — The lower right chamber of the heart that receives deoxygenated blood from the right atrium and pumps it under low pressure into the lungs via the pulmonary artery.


Septum — A word borrowed from the Latin “saeptum” meaning a “dividing wall or enclosure.”

Stenosis — A narrowing, as in: aortic stenosis (narrowing of the aortic valve of the heart), pulmonary stenosis (narrowing of the pulmonary valve of the heart), pyloric stenosis (narrowing of the outlet of the stomach), andspinal stenosis (narrowing of the vertebral canal).

Systole — The time period when the heart is contracting. The period specifically during which the left ventricle of the heart contracts.


TEE — Transesophageal echocardiography. A diagnostic test which employs ultrasound waves to make images of the heart chambers, valves and surrounding structures and which is done through the esophagus.

Tetralogy of Fallot — A combination of four heart defects that are present together at birth, accounting for about 10% of all congenital heart disease.

Tricuspid — Having three flaps or cusps. The valve that is called the tricuspid valve is situated between the right atrium and right ventricle and permits blood to flow only from the atrium into the ventricle. The aortic valve in the heart also has three cusps.


Vena cava — The superior vena cava is the large vein which returns blood to the heart from the head, neck and both upper limbs. The inferior vena cava returns blood to the heart from the lower part of the body.

Ventricle — A chamber of an organ. For example, the four connected cavities (hollow spaces) in the central portion of the brain and the lower two chambers of the heart are called ventricles.

Vessel — A tube in the body that carries fluids: blood vessels or lymph vessels.

VSD — A Ventricular Septal Defect, a hole in the septum (the wall) between the lower chambers of the heart (the ventricles).

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Olivia Street

Board Member


Hillary Flores-Berman

Board Member

Aiden Lamar

Board Member

Kelsey McCourt

Board Member

Christopher Camatcho

Board Member


Jayden McCroskey

Board Member

My name is Jayden McCroskey and I am a sophomore in high school. I have two younger siblings, Alivia and Camden. My brother Camden is a heart kid. I am on the Camp LUCK Youth Board because I get the opportunities to make the camp that I fell in love with a better place.

Maggie Cloninger

Youth Board Advisor


Parent LUCK Network

This program matches new heart parents, who are just beginning their journey, with a Parent LUCK Network volunteer, who has a child with similar conditions. The volunteers are eager to listen, provide emotional support and help new heart parents understand that they are not alone. It is our hope, that these volunteers can be an ongoing resource for parents with questions or concerns.

If you are interested in the Parent Support Network, please contact Erin Shaw at

Camp LUCK Closet

Camp LUCK, in conjunction with the Sanger Heart and Vascular Institute pediatric office and Novant Pediatric Cardiology, is involved in an ongoing effort to distribute gently-worn clothing and other baby items to heart families in need. The members of Camp LUCK know how incredibly difficult it is to have a very sick child, without the added complication of not being able to provide adequate clothing for that child. In this small way we hope to make a difference in the lives of these very special heart families.

If you have gently-worn or gently-used children’s items that you would like to donate, please contact


Baby LUCK services the families of the youngest members of our heart community (under age 7). Meetings are scheduled on a bi-monthly basis and include entertainment for the kids and activities for the parents. It’s a great opportunity to share experiences about living with CHD.

To receive future communications about Baby LUCK and Baby LUCK events, be sure to sign up for our mailing list.

For more information, contact

Camp LUCK Dinners

Every other month, Camp LUCK hosts a dinner where guest speakers share their experience regarding a host of issues related to the many important facets of CHD health care – cardiology (pediatric and adult) heart surgery, dental care, psychology, nutrition, holistic medicine, education, heart parents and heart kids. We feel that it is important that all of these voices are heard as we work toward our common goal of improving the quality of life for children living with CHD, their parents, and families.

Chase Collins

Board Member

My name is Chase Collins and I am 12 years old.  My sister, Cassidy, has a heart defect. The reason that I love Camp LUCK so much is because of the friends that I have there and the skills that I have learned and been able to teach others. The friends I have made over the years have turned into family and I want others to feel the same way. I joined the Youth Board to be able to support Camp LUCK and make it a better place for all to have this same feeling and process; whether you have a heart condition or not.

Mattie Polen

Board Member

I’m Mattie Polen. I am part of the Camp LUCK Youth Board. I have been part of Camp LUCK for six years and have been on the Youth Board for about three years. I love Camp LUCK and want to help make it as great as it can possibly be.

Kaylin Nolan

Board Member

Hi! My name is Kaylin Nolan and I am one of the new members of the Camp LUCK Youth Board. I am a sibling. I absolutely love Camp LUCK because of the community that has grown from it and how they are always open armed to newcomers. I want to serve on the board because I want to help the people who have made everything that has happened in my family easier. I look forward to meeting everyone and being here to support you.

Seri Paquette

Board Member

Seri Paquette is senior at Southlake Christian Academy. She has loved being on the Youth Board since the beginning because it has allowed her be more involved in Camp LUCK. Seri loves the Camp LUCK community.

Jay Myers

Board Member

Jay Myers is a proud husband and father of two children. He and his family are committed to supporting the interests of heart children through the mission of Camp LUCK. Jay is the SAP Ariba Director of Financial Services for Value Engineering.

Chris McKenzie

Board Member

Chris is the father of three girls – Sarah, Anna and Mary (heart child). He has been a Steering Committee member for Levine Cardiac Kids since its inception and thrilled to be a part of Camp LUCK!

Nicola Roark

Board Member

Nicola Roark is a former production and product development manager from the textile industry. Currently, she works as a teaching assistant with 3rd graders and has two children, Olivia and Camden (heart kid). Camp Luck has been a wonderful support network for the Roark family, and Nicola wants to return that support to others.

Irene Liapis

Board Member

Irene is a REMAX realtor and mother of three children – Maria, Dimitri (HLHS) and Christina.  Outside of family and work, she enjoys playing tennis and golf.  She has been active in her church with youth and local missions.  Irene is very excited now to be part of the Camp LUCK family – so excited that it makes her heart “skip” – for the opportunities and support Camp LUCK provides families like hers!

Sara DeVries

Board Member

Sara serves as the liaison for Baby Luck.  She is a mom of two children, Easton and Adelaide (TOF).  She is proud to serve such an incredible group of heart kids and their families.

Hunter Jackson


Hunter Jackson is a Senior Manager with Grant Thornton LLP, and serves Camp LUCK as the Treasurer.  He has two wild little boys, Gray (heart kid/transplant) and West.  He is thankful for the heart family that Camp LUCK has provided and is proud to give back to such an awesome community of warriors!

Bryon Mulligan


Bryon is a Special Counsel, in the Charlotte office of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, specializing in complex commercial lending transactions. Bryon is the proud father of an 11 year old boy with a congenital heart defect.

Kim Jackson

Co-founder & Program Coordinator

Kim is the mother of Jacob (heart child) and McKenzie. She is a former office manager and radiologic technologist. Kim and Jacob were very passionate about raising awareness of congenital heart disease and volunteered many hours together in the congenital heart community. Jacob endured numerous heart surgeries and procedures during his lifetime, but passed away from complications of open heart surgery in December 2010.

Dr. René Herlong

Vice President & Assistant Camp Director

Dr. René is the Chief of Pediatric Cardiology at the Sanger Heart and Vascular Institute. He has worked at Camp Cherokee for more than 35 years, currently as Health Care Administrator and formerly as Assistant Camp Director. Dr. Herlong wanted to offer a resident camping experience to his patients and is very excited to have been able to help make this a reality at Camp LUCK.

Adrienne Mauntel


Adrienne is a heart mom and has been an active volunteer with both Levine Cardiac Kids and Camp LUCK since their inception. She has served on both the Board of Directors and Operations Committee of each organization. Adrienne feels honored to act as President of Camp LUCK. She truly believes in the programs that it offers as her family has personally seen the benefits of being a part of this heart community.