Family to thank pediatric surgeon on Valentine’s for saving young girl’s life
Inspiring reunion to take place at Cardon Children's on Valentine's Day
There were a dozen improbable things that saved my daughter that night, but this one I was able to put a name to



MESA, Ariz. (Feb. 11, 2019)  – On Valentine’s Day, the family of a 3-year-old girl who nearly died as an infant from a sudden cardiac arrest will reunite with the surgeon and medical team who saved her life at Cardon Children’s Medical Center.

The family will express their heartfelt thanks during the emotional reunion at noon Thursday, Feb. 14, in the BIG Outside play space near the entrance to the hospital at 1400 S. Dobson Road. Seeing Myles Amsden playing at the children’s park will be especially meaningful to the medical team who treated her, since they once helped connect her heart to a machine to keep it beating while her body healed.

“The doctor had this look of determination that I’ll never forget,” said Ralph Amsden, the girl’s father, of Maricopa. “The moment we gave her the go-ahead (for surgery), it was like she was taking the ball, bases loaded with a one-run lead in game seven of the World Series. ‘Alright. Let’s go. Let’s do this.’ And she did it. She replaced a two-week-old baby’s heartbeat with a machine by connecting a tube into her carotid artery. There were a dozen improbable things that saved my daughter that night, but this one I was able to put a name to.”

When Myles was only two weeks old, she suddenly stopped breathing and was rushed to the Emergency department at Cardon Children’s, where doctors determined she wouldn’t survive unless she was emergently placed on cardiac bypass to give her body time to recover.  Heidi Cox, MD, a pediatric surgeon, connected the infant’s heart to an “ECMO” machine, which pumped and oxygenated the baby’s heart outside of her body to allow her heart and lungs to rest.

Amsden wrote a popular and deeply moving Twitter thread detailing his daughter’s illness and amazing recovery. He said Myles was without oxygen for several minutes and could have suffered brain damage, but she’s now in great health and neurologically fine. She spent about three weeks in Cardon Children’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, then later required a year of physical therapy.

“We call her a miracle, and she smiles,” Amsden said. “She doesn’t comprehend too much of what she went through, but her family and friends sure do.”

Contact: Please RSVP if you’d like to attend so we can notify Security. You can email or call (321)501-2850, or contact Nancy Neff at (480) 710-0887.

Parking directions: Cardon Children’s is located on the same campus as Banner Desert Medical Center. The address is 1400 S. Dobson Road in Mesa, just off the U.S. 60. When you turn into the medical campus from Dobson, go right at the first stop sign. Parking may be available in the roundabout, or park in Visitor Parking. A representative from our Public Relations team can meet you in the lobby.