February is CHD (Congenital Heart Defect) awareness month (well, there is a week in there 7-14) but on this Blog it’s all month, I will be posting things through out the month about this deadly illness that is taking the lives of our kids. I will also be sharing the stories of hope that CHD offers. As some of you know from my post last February, 50% of kids now live with CHD into adulthood… this is a significant increase in scientific discoveries. CHD doesn’t need to kill your baby, it’s not easy, it’s a tough and trying road but there is hope.
Congenital Heart Defects (CHDs) are the world’s leading birth defect; more common than spina bifida or Downs Syndrome, and are the leading cause of infant deaths in Canada. CHDs kill twice as many children each year as all childhood cancers combined. The term “congenital” means that the defect is present at birth. One in 100 to 3 in 100 Canadian children are born with one or more of the 35 known types of CHDs, representing 1-3% of births. These heart defects vary in severity, ranging from a tiny hole in the heart that may never require surgery, to life-threatening defects which require open-heart surgery within hours or days of birth. Sadly, more than 4,000 babies born this year in Canada will never see their first birthday because of complex congenital heart defects, and hundreds of CHD children die before ever reaching adulthood.
There is NO cure but there is HOPE
For more information on CHDs, visit these websites:
Some kids lose the battle, I will share a story later this week of a little girl who did lose, and how her family is coping with that loss. I will also tell you about those who make it, and the remarkable tales of some great kids!
Keep your eyes open for the stories…