Heartfelt gift expands care for the youngest cardiac patients

When Patti and Joe Busking’s grandson, Jack, was born at Advocate Christ Medical Center in 2015, doctors discovered a life-threatening heart defect: hypoplastic left heart syndrome. It’s a condition where the left side of the heart doesn’t form properly.

Jack would spend almost his entire first year of life in the hospital being cared for by the team at Advocate Children’s Heart Institute. Ultimately, it was realized he would need a heart transplant to survive. But Advocate Children’s Heart Institute is not currently a pediatric heart transplant center, so he had to be transferred during that critical time to another children’s hospital. Fortunately, he received a heart and is now a playful, thriving 3-year-old.

Giving back

The Buskings were so grateful for the care they received at Advocate, that they wanted to give back and help other families in similar situations. They were also inspired by their young grandson’s fight with congenital heart disease.

So, in 2018, they made a generous gift to name the Busking Family Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (PCICU) on the Advocate Children’s Hospital Oak Lawn campus. Opening in early July, the new space will feature 16 patient rooms with dedicated spaces for the patient and their family members, a high-tech patient monitoring system, a respite and waiting area, and consult and conference spaces.

“The Busking Family PCICU will bring our physical space for our pediatric heart patients to the same level of excellence as the clinical care they receive,” explained Andrew Van Bergen, MD, director of pediatric cardiac critical care. “It will expand the size of the existing pediatric surgical heart unit, while offering the technology and facilities needed to keep cardiology and cardiovascular surgery patients in one unit from admission to discharge.”

The unit will be one of only a few of its kind in the entire country and will meet not only the clinical needs of patients, but also the spiritual and emotional needs of the entire family.

“Ultimately, the Busking Family PCICU will set the foundation for expanding our care for children – and adults – with congenital heart disease,” said Dr. Van Bergen. “We are so grateful for the Busking family’s compassionate support.”

How you can help

You can also support cardiac care at Advocate Children’s Hospital. To learn more, please contact Jackie Pufundt at 630.929.6931 or