Four years ago, I gave birth to my third son – a boy, named Christian. He was cleared as a healthy bouncy baby boy, and I enjoyed those first few days of his infancy feeling blessed. But on the third day, Christian’s short life took a rapid turn. He was diagnosed with several congenital heart defects, the main one being Tetralogy of Fallot. In critical condition, he underwent his first open-heart surgery when he was just seven days old and his second open-heart surgery at six months old. I was completely blind-sided and scared to learn my son was born with a congenital heart defect. I thought I had a healthy pregnancy and delivered a healthy baby, but I didn’t and no one saw it coming.
Today, I could not be any happier with my little angel. He is an overly active, energetic, and happy child. I am so proud of my baby. He is growing normally and acts no different than any other child. Christian is my true miracle baby!
- · One in every 125 babies is born with CHD every year in the United States, alone.
- · CHD kills twice as many children s childhood cancer
- · Still, pregnant women are not routinely tested – and newborns are not routinely screened – for CHDs. CHD often go undetected until sometime after birth, and it may be too late.
CHD Awareness Week is Feb. 7 – Feb. 14. This is the week where individuals, local support groups, national and local organizations and congenital cardiology centers around the world help education the public about congenital hearth defects. I am a member of Little Hearts, which is a national organization that has provided support, and education to our family since CHD’s changed our lives.