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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Did YOU know?



Somewhere…someplace… today…
A family is waiting to hear…
Is something wrong with their baby?
The answers aren’t quite clear…
This family has entered an unwanted world…
And they just don’t know what to expect…



Somewhere…someplace… today
They first heard the words: heart defect.
And how they hoped this was not true…
And thought… this cannot be…
I too… know just how this feels…
For one day…this was me.


Somewhere…someplace…today…
A man and a woman embrace…
Their baby is in surgery…
They long to see her face…
They haven’t got to hold her yet…
Without…a cord or line…
They pace the room awaiting news…
And hope she’ll be just fine.
Prayers fill this busy waiting room…
And mom and dad are scared…
Somewhere…someplace..today…
The tiniest hearts are repaired.


Somewhere…someplace…today…
A child’s growing fast…
Smiling,laughing,thriving…
His mom thinks…can this last?
It’s almost easy…to forget…
That anything is wrong…
Somewhere…someplace..today…
Her child seems so strong.


Somewhere…someplace… today…
A little boy fights…just to live
A father holds his tiny hand…
His love…all he can give…
The doctor’s are all baffled…
They fear that he might die…
Somewhere…someplace…today…
A family says goodbye…


Somewhere…someplace…each year..
More than 40,000 families will see…
What it means…when something’s wrong…
They’ll face a Congenital Heart Defect.
Today…for just a moment…
Stop…remember…reflect…
Make time to tell someone you know…
“I’ve been changed by a heart defect”.

I found that poem last year and shared it on Gage's caringbridge site because it all too well touched my heart and gives a glimpse of what us heart parents go through.
Now, I know that you all know it's Valentine's day, but did you also know that it's National Congenital Hearts Awareness Day?!?! Sadly, you probably did not and I would not know myself if it wouldn't have hit me personally. That is really the point of this day, most people don't know about CHDs and we need to get the word out more to raise the awareness that more research needs to be done to prevent heart defects as well as better research for the surgeons during surgery. My prayer is one day Gage will only have to have one more surgery to fix his heart where the valve they put in will grow with him as he grows and not contiueing every few years to replace the valve that doesn't grow with him. Here are some facts about Congenital Heart Defects, still two years later, some of these facts shock me:

~It is estimated that 40,000 babies with Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) are born in the United States each year. More than 1 million American children and adults with Congenital Heart Defects and Childhood Onset Heart Disease are alive today

~CHD is the most frequently occurring birth defect, and is the leading cause of birth-defect related deaths.(crazy how it's the leading cause, but we know so little about it!)

~According to the March of Dimes, congenital heart defects are the #1 birth defect.(yet there is not a screening done after babies are born) ~In the US alone, over 25,000 babies are born each year with a congenital heart defect. That translates to 1 out of every 115 to 150 births. (To put those numbers into perspective, only 1 in every 800 to 1,000 babies is born with Downs Syndrome.)

~Although some babies will be diagnosed at birth, sometimes the diagnosis is not made until days, weeks, months, or even years after. In some cases, CHDs are not detected until adolescence or adulthood.

~Some CHDs may not require treatment other than periodic visits to a Pediatric Cardiologist. Others can be treated with medications or repaired with surgery and/or procedures. Complex defects may require several surgeries and are never really "cured".

~Many cases of sudden cardiac death in young athletes are caused by undiagnosed CHDs and Childhood Onset Heart Disease.

Those are just some facts I pulled off a site, there are more, but then this could get extremely longer than it already is! If you would like to pray about a donation, here are some sites you could look into(www.kidswithheart.org, www.chw.org, www.americanheart.org, www.tchin.org), and if a donation is not something you could do at this time, please just pray for the research, the children and families who deal with this every day!

Happy Hearts Day!!!

1 comment:

He And Me + 3 said...

That was a beautiful poem and post. What great information..and you are right, I didn't know that today was National Congenital Hearts Awareness Day. Thank you for bringing this to our attentions. I can only imagine what those parents...parents like yourself went and go through.
Blessings,
Happpy Valentine's Day,
Mimi