Sunday, February 8, 2009

CHD Awareness

February 7-14, 2009 is Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week.

A Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) means a child is born with an abnormally structured heart and/or large vessels. Such hearts may have incomplete or missing parts, may be put together the wrong way, may have holes between chamber partitions or may have narrow or leaky valves or narrow vessels. There are approximately 35 different types of congenital heart defects.
**CHDs are the #1 birth defect in America, affecting approximately one in one hundred or 40,000 newborns every year.Each day 10,830 babies are born in the U.S.; 411 of them have a birth defect -- of those, 87 will be born with a congenital heart defect -- that's more than cerebral palsy (27), sickle cell disease (27), Down Syndrome (12), and oral/facial clefts (11) combined (total of 77). (According to the March of Dimes)

**CHDs are responsible for one third of all birth defect-related deaths, and sadly 20 percent of children who make it through birth will not survive past their first birthday.
In the United States, twice as many children die from congenital heart defects each year than from all forms of childhood cancer combined, yet funding for pediatric cancer research is five times higher than funding for CHD.

**For many children a new heart is the only option, but only about 30% of the children who need a heart transplant receive one in time. Elaine was one who was part of the 70% who could not wait long enough. In 2007 there were 327 pediatric heart transplants performed in the United States. The average heart transplant only lasts around 10 years.
(Elaine right after her 3rd open heart surgery)

What can you do?

Support Intermountain Healing Hearts! Saturday some members of the group were able to meet up at PCMC and set up CHD week table with fliers, books, information, and also toys and candy. Payson Market also donated heart shaped sugar cookies that were distributed throughout the hospital to staff and families. We were also able to get a large sign (by approval of the CEO :) ) hung over the parking garage. This sign acknowledges CHD week. We are slowly trying to get more involvement and awareness in our community. We hope you are all doing the same! Thank you to all!


Susan May said...

As a mother of a child born with congential heart disease I apprecitate your efforts to spread the word about it. I hope in the future more new parents will be made aware of it. My son ending up having a heart transplant. That was 18 years ago and he will soon be 20.

"Nick's New Heart"

Teea Lamb said...

Thanks for sharing this! I was wondering if I could post it on my blog, too. Are you okay with that? I think you did a great job, and I would love to help spread awareness. And thanks for your support, and for your encouraging comments on my blog. I really appreciate them. Especially from someone who understands what I am going through. It's nice to know that I am not completely crazy. :) Thanks!