Thursday, February 7, 2013

February 7, 2013 - Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week

If you read this blog regularly, you'll know that in October my nephew, Kyle, was 27 days old when he died of complications of surgery to repair one of the four congenital heart defects (CHD) he was born with.  His parents, my sister and her husband, remain heartbroken over the loss of their sweet baby boy, as am I and the rest of Kyle's family and friends.

I know that my sister has been doing a lot of research about CHD since Kyle passed away.  When she learned that this week is "Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week" she instantly took action.  She wrote to her Governor to ask for his support in raising awareness for this common birth defect. A few weeks later she received this proclamation in the mail from him:

It is certainly a nice way to honor the families who have been affected by CHD, and especially to honor those, like Kyle, whose lives have been far too short because of CHD.

Everyday this week I will share just a little bit of information about CHD, in the hope of raising a little bit of awareness about this birth defect that seems mostly to be under or off the radar for most families but affects 40,000 babies in the United States every year.  Perhaps a little bit of knowledge can go a long way towards saving a life.

To start, this is from the from the Congenital Heart Information Network

"Government officials throughout the world have proclaimed February 7th–14th as “Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week”. To mark this important occasion, an international coalition of families, individuals, non-profit organizations, support groups, and health professionals participate in a campaign to increase public awareness of Congenital Heart Defects and Childhood Heart Disease. By sharing our experiences and providing information to the public, we hope to raise awareness about conditions that affect approximately 40,000 babies each year in the United States.

It is our sincere hope that efforts to educate the public will result in additional funding for support and educational services, scientific research, and improved quality of care for our children and adults."

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