February 7-14 is Congenital Heart Defect(CHD)Awareness Week. CHD is the most common birth defect in babies affecting 8 out of 1,000 newborns. Congenital heart defects are also responsible for more deaths in the first year of life than any other birth defect.
I was born with Double Outlet Right Ventricle which basically means I have a single-functioning ventricle, among other problems. I had my first surgery when I was six months old, and my fourth surgery (fontan revision) when I was 25 years old. I also have a pacemaker.
I just thought it would be interesting to see if there are any hubbers out there with similar experiences or if they know of anyone with CHD.
A person very dear to me was born with CHD and for years now, she's got her spine in the form of an ''S'' letter (she's got some ''device'' keeping her back so that she can walk) and a benign brain tumor. Her doctor told her she won't live up 30 years of age when she was 20 and that it's better she didn't have any children in her condition. She's 65 now, has two grown children and she bravely fights her diseases day by day.
My cousin, Katie, gave birth to a baby boy two years ago. He was born with a heart defect. Doctors rushed him into emergency surgery immediately after he was born. Katie didn't even get to see his face until he had already passed away.
When I was three years old, my mom gave birth to a baby boy. He had a hole in his heart, but there were no signs, his heartbeat sounded normal and he wasn't born blue. He died from this defect when he was just three weeks old, and if my mom hadn't requested an autopsy, the doctors would have just said it was SIDS and we never would have known it really was something else.
My daughter was born with a hole in her heart. It was immediately detected and she spent a week in neo natal intesive care to monitor it. Fortunately, it closed on its own and she is now 6 years old and doing fine. She does, however, have arrythmia and tires quickly from over exertion and turns as red as a beet where other kids doing the same activity are fine, but the doc says she should outgrow that. we shall see. at this point, it seems a small price to pay.
Some of these responses are heartbreaking while others are truly inspiring. I think there needs to be more done to try to detect heart defects in newborns - maybe they should all have an echocardiogram done. Many youth and even adults walk around totally unaware they have a heart condition until something catastrophic happens.