Heartbroken

A Tampa Bay Times investigation

Major developments

Scroll down for complete coverage.

Read the investigation

In print: Heartbroken (Dec. 2, 2018)

Complete coverage

Jun. 28, 2019: Family settles for $2.3 million over All Children’s heart surgery death

A family whose daughter died after a 2018 heart transplant at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital has settled a legal claim with the hospital for $2.35 million, according to state records.

Jun. 28, 2019: The law firm investigating All Children’s filed its report. The hospital will make big changes.

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital will make sweeping changes to its policies and structure in response to problems in its heart surgery unit. The changes include new checks and balances on the hospital’s president, more rigorous evaluations for top executives and better tracking of internal complaints.

Jun. 26, 2019: Extra oversight for children’s heart surgery signed into law

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill late Tuesday that will let physician experts visit struggling programs and make recommendations for improvement.

May 28, 2019: Profit at Johns Hopkins hospitals tumbled. All Children’s was to blame.

The Johns Hopkins Health System’s operating profit dropped 70 percent in the first quarter of 2019, in large part because of problems in the All Children’s Hospital heart surgery program, according to the system’s latest financial report.

May 1, 2019: Regulators still not satisfied with All Children’s progress

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital announced Tuesday that it has not yet corrected key problems identified by regulators early this year and said it has entered a binding agreement with the federal government requiring it to take special steps to avoid being cut off from public funding.

April 29, 2019: Lawmakers approve measure to catch pediatric heart surgery problems

The state House of Representatives on Monday unanimously approved a bill to increase oversight of pediatric heart surgeries.

April 24, 2019: Heart surgery bill gets new life

With the end of this year’s legislative session drawing near, the Florida Senate is making a final push to increase oversight of children’s heart surgeries.

April 10, 2019: All Children’s works to restore faith, but families struggle to forgive

At least 11 families have filed claims with the hospital, which is admitting liability in many cases. Still, Johns Hopkins faces an uphill battle to restore trust.

March 29, 2019: Florida could have fined All Children’s millions for late reports. It went with $4,500.

Late last year, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital made a striking admission to state regulators: It had failed to report at least nine cases where its care had hurt patients.

March 27, 2019: All Children’s deaths led to a bill adding oversight. The Florida House just gutted it.

The original bill allowed extra inspections of children’s heart surgery programs. The new one doesn’t, and even shuts down an existing committee of doctors tasked with proposing improvements.

March 11, 2019: Senate committee greenlights oversight of children’s heart surgery programs after Times report

A proposal to increase oversight of children’s heart surgery programs in Florida cleared its first legislative hurdle in a state Senate committee today.

March 8, 2019: Federal inspectors find unresolved problems at All Children’s

A February follow-up inspection of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital found the hospital was still out of compliance with federal rules, officials said this week.

Feb. 22, 2019: New federal report details widespread problems at All Children’s

A federal investigation into Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg found failures in oversight that went far beyond the hospital’s Heart Institute.

Feb. 19, 2019: After All Children’s deaths, proposal aims to catch heart surgery problems

The chairwoman of a powerful Florida Senate committee has filed a bill to dramatically increase oversight of children’s heart surgery programs.

Feb. 15, 2019: Family sues All Children’s after heart department death

The family of a deceased 26-year-old woman is suing Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, saying she died as a result of the poor care she received in the heart unit.

Feb. 9, 2019: All Children’s says 13 heart surgery patients were hurt by care

An internal review by Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital has found more than a dozen incidents in which children in the hospital’s heart unit were harmed by the care they received.

Feb. 8, 2019: All Children’s hires new interim president

Tom Kmetz, who retired last year after a decade as president of the Norton Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Ky., will take over on Feb. 18.

Feb. 1, 2019: Federal officials threaten All Children’s funding, citing problems

The federal government said a recent inspection of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital found serious problems and threatened to cut off the institution’s public funding unless the issues are addressed in a matter of weeks.

Jan. 11, 2019: State and federal inspectors visit All Children’s after reports on heart surgery deaths

Lawmakers have recently criticized regulators for not investigating reports of problems in All Children’s Heart Institute sooner.

Jan. 9, 2019: Johns Hopkins hires former prosecutor to investigate All Children’s Heart Institute

“Many of you courageously spoke out when you had concerns but were ignored or turned away,” the system’s president acknowledged in a video apologizing to the hospital’s community.

Jan. 2, 2019: Three more All Children’s officials resign following Times investigation

A total of six top officials have now left the hospital, including the CEO and three vice presidents.

Dec. 17, 2018: State may publish more data on heart surgery deaths

The change could alert families to problems like the ones at the All Children’s Heart Institute much more quickly.

Dec. 11, 2018: Top All Children’s executives resign following Times report on heart surgeries

‘The events described in recent news reports are unacceptable,’ the hospital’s parent company said.

May 22, 2018: All Children’s CEO: Not telling parents about needle left behind was “complete failure”

The hospital told the Times editorial board that it’s looking to rebuild the Heart Institute after stopping most surgeries late last year.

May 17, 2018: All Children’s Hospital now under federal review

The federal government wants to take a deeper look at the St. Petersburg hospital, which has had problems with its heart surgery program.

May 15, 2018: All Children’s never told state about needle left in baby

State inspectors cited the hospital for not reporting two medical mistakes. In one case, it also didn’t tell the child’s parents, they said.

April 27, 2018: State investigating problems at All Children’s Heart Institute

The review follows a Times story reporting a series of issues, including two needles that were left in children during surgery.

From the editor: Times' investigative team exposes big problems at the Heart Institute inside Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital

Reach out to us

To tell us about your experiences at the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital Heart Institute, email [email protected] or call the Tampa Bay Times investigations team at (727) 892-2944. For more contact options, go to tampabay.com/tips.

About the reporters

Kathleen McGrory is the deputy investigations editor at the Times. She was previously the newspaper’s health and medicine reporter. She joined the Times in 2015. [email protected]

Neil Bedi is a data reporter and developer on the investigations team. He joined the Times in 2016. [email protected]

Eve Edelheit is a St. Petersburg-based freelance photographer. She previously worked for the Times for six years.

Additional credits

  • Editor: Adam Playford
  • Data analysis: Neil Bedi, Connie Humburg
  • Additional reporting: Eve Edelheit, Divya Kumar, Martha Asencio Rhine, Caryn Baird
  • Additional photos and videos: Monica Herndon, Neil Bedi
  • Print design: Tara McCarty
  • Online design and graphics: Neil Bedi
  • Video production: Eve Edelheit, Danese Kenon, Monica Herndon