CHD Awareness Week

KIERSTYN WILBOURN

Staff Writer

 

What is CHD? Many don’t know the answer to the question, but for some, CHD is something no one wants to hear. It stands for congenital heart defect. The term “congenital” means existing at birth,and “defect” is a bit more accurate. There are a million different types of defects, but it’s up to doctors to rule out the possibilities affecting a heart with CHD.

 

So what’s going on in the heart? A regular heart has arteries, valves, and chambers that carry the blood in a pattern. However, when a heart is affected with CHD, the pattern will most likely be interrupted, causing the heart to work harder than it should and ultimately leading to heart failure. Most of the time, doctors don’t know why the heart defects occur, but eight out of 1,000 babies will have some type of congenital heart defect. Many take on the risk of open-heart surgery to fix the problem and hope to live a normal life afterwards.

 

When a child is born with CHD, Mended Little Hearts is there. Starting in 2004, Mended Little Hearts is a non profit organization that provides support to families affected by the disease. They reach out to families to hear their stories and share journeys with others. Today, there are over 10,000 members, and it has 80 chapters in the U.S. and Mexico. Their mission is to help every child succeed in life with CHD, no matter what it’s taken from them.

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