Heart Center launches series of educational animated videos


Heart Center launches series of educational animated videos

In 2016, a team led by Chief of Cardiology Dr. Daniel Penny created a series of almost 40 animated videos featuring Ruby, an armadillo, Beau, a bison, and a group of caregivers called blings to help children with heart problems better understand their diagnoses and treatment options.

Ruby's and Beau’s role in the videos is to identify the problem with a child’s heart, call in the blings for help and explain in very simple terms what’s happening and how it’s affecting the patient. The blings fix whatever is wrong while hopping in and out of colorful cars and using a cadre of MacGyver-like tools.


“The aim of our project is to improve the health literacy of the children and parents who come to us with heart disease,” Penny said. “If we can empower them through information, we can likely improve their treatment outcome and overall quality of life.”

To effectively communicate complex issues like ventricular septal defect and patent ductus arteriosis, Penny is working with Michael Liddy, a friend and Australian animator, to script the 4- to 7-minute videos and create characters that appeal to young viewers.

Funded by a grant from ExxonMobil, the videos can be accessed by doctors, patients and families via Texas Children’s website at www.texaschildrens.org/hearteducation