Panera Bread Supports Little Hearts

For over 20 years, Panera Bread has been a strong supporter of Orlando Health by hosting campaigns throughout the year that benefit our hospitals and support our patients.

This past spring, Central Florida cafés hosted the annual Heart Cookie campaign, raising over $27,000 between February 1 to February 14 to benefit The Heart Center at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. The heartfelt efforts of Panera team members, including at this year’s top fundraising café — Café #4264 in Windermere, support cardiac patients like Stella.

In late 2020, Mark Tremonti, a founding member of the hard-rock supergroup Creed, and his wife, Victoria, found out their unborn third child had the chromosomal abnormality that causes Down syndrome. By 22 weeks gestation, the Tremontis were informed their baby girl would face another challenge — Stella had a hole in her tiny heart.

For children with Down syndrome, the occurrence of heart defects is much higher — as many as half are affected. Stella faced one of the most common defects, ventricular septal defect (VSD), in which a hole forms between the lower chambers of the heart, causing excess blood flow and pressure. At just nine months old, Stella underwent open heart surgery and returned home just three days later. Thanks to the treatment Stella received at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer, she can look forward to a life of doing what she wants to do — and no more surgeries.

The Heart Center at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer brings together a specialized team to offer the most comprehensive heart care in Central Florida for infants, children and teens with heart disease. With philanthropic support from partners like Panera, the Heart Center is able to provide expert care to patients using the most advanced technology and practices, giving young heart patients the chance to be amazing kids.

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