Monday, February 28, 2011




Is anyone there?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week

February 7-14, 2011 is Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week. It's strange how you don't know about something until it's staring you straight in the face. I had no idea that heart defects are the #1 birth defect! Here are some quick facts about CHD:

  • Congenital Heart Defects are the #1 birth defect. Source: March of Dimes
  • Congenital Heart Defects are the #1 cause of birth defect related deaths. Source: March of Dimes
  • About 1 out of every 100 babies are born each year with some type of Congenital Heart Defect. (approx. 40,000/year) Source: Children’s Heart Foundation
  • Nearly twice as many children die from Congenital Heart Defects in the United States each year as from all forms of childhood cancers combined, yet funding for pediatric cancer research is five times higher than funding for CHD. Source: Children’s Heart Foundation
  • The American Heart Association directs only $0.30 of every dollar donated toward research. The remainder goes toward administration, education and fundraising efforts. Of the $0.30 that goes toward research only $0.01 goes toward pediatric cardiology for CHD. Source: Children’s Heart Foundation
  • This year approximately 4,000 babies will not live to see their first birthday because of Congenital Heart Defects. Source: Children’s Heart Foundation
  • The cost for inpatient surgery to repair Congenital Heart Defects exceeds $2.2 billion a year. Source: Children’s Heart Foundation
  • Of every dollar the government spends on medical funding only a fraction of a penny is directed toward Congenital Heart Defect research. Source: Children’s Heart Foundation
  • Though research is ongoing, at least 35 defects have now been identified.
  • 4-8% born with CHD have Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (Eli's defect)
  • 4-10% born with CHD have Atrioventricular Septal Defects
  • 8-11% born with CHD have Coarctation of the Aorta
  • 9-14% born with CHD have Tetralogy of Fallot
  • 10-11% born with CHD have Transposition of the Great Arteries
  • 14-16% born with CHD have Ventricular Septal Defects
  • Although some babies will be diagnosed during gestation or at birth, sometimes the diagnosis is not made until days, weeks, months, or even years after. In some cases, CHD is not detected until adolescence or adulthood. Source: March of Dimes
  • It is a proven fact that the earlier CHD is detected and treated, it is more likely the affected child will survive and have less long term health complications. Source: March of Dimes
Raising awareness about CHD is becoming an important part of my life. Had we not known about Eli's defect before he was born, it's likely we would not have him today. I feel we are extremely lucky that the ultrasound tech was screening closely and found his broken heart. There are many moms and dads out there grieving over a broken hearted baby that was undetected.

Will you join me in raising awareness and support of CHD? Our local chapter of It's My Heart, an organization that advocates and provides support to those affected by CHD, is having their annual Awareness Run/Walk this Saturday. We have created Eli's Fourth Chamber in honor of Eli. You can join our team by walking, running, or even cyber walking if you are long distance. Or if you feel like just donating to Eli's team, you can do that as well. Eli appreciates the support you have given him over the past 2 years and you continue to give. The support here will help raise awareness and support of other heart families here in the area. Thank you!!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Paige's Prayer

Every night before bed, we pray with Paige. She usually begins with the same things, then is thankful for one special or fun thing she did that day. Lately she has been expanding on her prayers and is saying the cutest things! It really just melts our hearts.

Normally she says, "Jesus thank you for Mommy, Daddy, Paige, Eli, and Samuel. Thank you for making Eli's heart much better. And thank you for...."

2 nights ago she says, "Jesus thank you for Mommy, Daddy, Paige, Eli, and Samuel. Please make Eli's heart much better because you're in it."

Tonight she says, "Jesus thank you for Mommy, Daddy, Paige, Eli and Samuel. Could you please make Eli's heart better? Let me know."

We can't help but giggle through our prayers with her. She is so sweet.