Tohma Morrison

Deep in the Heart of Texas

Tohma Morrison
Deep in the Heart of Texas

A leader in pediatric heart care for more than 50 years, Texas Children’s Heart Center was among the first to demonstrate that small children could safely undergo heart surgery.

Today, we are one of the nation’s leading providers of pediatric cardiac care and the only accredited Pediatric Heart Failure Institute in Texas. For the third consecutive year, Texas Children’s Heart Center has ranked second in the country – making us – Best in Texas.


For 20 years, beginning with the hospital’s inception, Dr. Dan G. McNamara served as Texas Children’s first director of Cardiology – one of only three hospital services (including Radiology and Surgery) established at Texas Children’s at the time. Fueled by his immense passion for innovation, McNamara and his team designed and customized the hospital’s first cardiac catheterization lab, which significantly advanced the diagnosis of heart ailments in children.
After only eight years in operation, Texas Children’s began struggling to accommodate the community’s demand for services. With plans for expansion, Texas Children’s first chief of Cardiovascular Surgery, Dr. Denton A. Cooley, helped establish the Texas Heart Institute to promote knowledge and treatment of adult and pediatric cardiovascular diseases. Texas Children’s pediatric cardiologists also served as staff members of the Texas heart Institute’s pediatric department, where they collaborated on projects to improve heart outcomes in children.


Since its inception in 1962, Cooley and his associates have performed more than 100,000 open-heart operations – more than any other center in the world. Texas Children’s Heart Center cares for patients and produces outcomes among the best in the nation.

In this blog post, Dr. Charles D. Fraser, Jr, surgeon-in-chief, chief of Congenital Heart Surgery, and cardiac surgeon-in-charge, shares his poignant point of view about what it takes to make the Texas Children’s Heart Center one of the best places in the world for cardiac care. 


Texas Children’s Heart Transplant Program is one of the largest and most successful pediatric programs in the country and has completed more than 330 heart transplants since 1984. We treat some of the rarest and most complex cases. Our program is a prime example of how Texas Children’s is a pioneer in all aspects of pediatric cardiovascular surgery. Our medical subspecialists, surgeons, anesthesiologists and dedicated hospital staff’s comprehensive approach to care allows us to bring hope to children and adolescents from all over the country.


Little Juliana Graves was diagnosed with a severe congenital heart defect at 20 weeks gestation. Born too weak to be a candidate for surgical repair, Juliana was put on the list for a heart transplant. Her courageous story has a happy ending even considering her mother, Riki, halted breast cancer treatment to give her daughter the strongest pregnancy and healthiest beginning to life possible.