Before she read the book to each grade level, Langstaff, who also is a physician assistant by trade, explained how the heart is checked, what electrocardiograms and echocardiograms are, who treats the heart and what the heart does for human bodies. All those experiences follow characters of her book.
Langstaff read her book, which follows Muriel the physician assistant, Captain Eli who performs the EKG, Dr. Fish who performs the echo and Sidney the stethoscope and serves as bear’s friend throughout his time at the doctor’s office. The book was designed to comfort children with heart conditions and help parents explain what to expect during a heart examination.
“If you ever feel anything in your heart and you’re not sure what it is, tell your mom and dad; then we can check it out,” she said.
Students also talked about their sickness, when they’re scared and other ways their hearts can beat fast.
“Exercise keeps your heart healthy,” said kindergartner Sean Housein.
Langstaff shared with students and Leighton staff members that her goddaughter, Sidney, was born with a heart defect and doctors needed to fix her heart. When Sidney had to go to the doctor’s she always had a teddy bear for comfort.
Langstaff donated a signed copy of her book to the Leighton Elementary library media center.