The Heart Center -
St. Louis Children's Hospital
The Heartbeat Animal Program was born out of a desire to remember Lincoln and keep him present in the lives of his younger brothers. We wanted something tangible that they could hold on to and love. Being able to still listen to his heartbeat brings us so much comfort.
Then we thought that other parents would cherish having one, as well. And from there the program just grew. The heartbeat animals have become so powerful because, as every parent knows, it is an incredible thing when you get to hear your child's heartbeat. Parents are often anxious to hear that first heartbeat during pregnancy, because it signifies life. It makes it all feel real. And for the parents whose children have to go through so many procedures and operations it represents their strength. And for those who lose a child it is one more symbol that their child was here, that their child fought, and that they will always be theirs.
The Heartbeat Animal program is continually expanding. We are currently offered throughout all of St. Louis Children's Hospital and the Cardiac ICU and step down unit at Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis. Most recently we have implemented a program in the adult Neuro ICU at Barnes Jewish Hospital in honor of Adam Mallette.