Congenital Heart Defects - Birth Defect #1
You may have heard about Late Night host Jimmy Kimmel sharing his family’s story: his newborn son Billy was diagnosed with a Congenital Heart Defect that required immediate open heart surgery.
Congenital Heart Defects or Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) are fairly common. About 8 out of every 1,000 newborns – that’s about 40,000 babies every year in the United States – are born with a Congenital Heart Defect.
The Good News
The great news is that there are simple, non-invasive tests that can be done right when a baby is born to detect problems with the heart and begin intervention or treatment right away.
In fact, in Texas, the American Heart Association worked to pass a statewide law so every baby born in Texas gets that test. Not all people with congenital heart defects require treatment. Some may only need to be observed and visit their cardiologist. In other cases, surgery or a cardiac catheterization may be needed to reduce the effects of and/or repair the defect. Even when a defect is treated as a child, further conditions may develop that would benefit from additional medical treatment.
There are more and more survivors of CVD, brave and strong little boys and girls whose hearts grow stronger as they grow up.
The American Heart Association
The American Heart Association (AHA) is the largest and oldest voluntary health organization in the country, established 91 years ago and operating in Texas for several decades.
Knowing that access to healthcare for families in those situations is so critical, The American Heart Association fights for it every day, and provides critical resources for patients, caregivers, and parents through their Support Network website.
Little Hats, Big Hearts - Have a Heart, Knit a Hat
Little Hats, Big Hearts™ program started in Chicago in 2014 and honors babies, moms, and heart healthy lives in a very special way:
Supporters are knitting and crocheting red hats to be given out to thousands of babies during American Heart Month in order to educate new parents on how to give their children the healthiest start in life and how to keep their family living a heart healthy lifestyle.
This is the 4th year the Austin office of The American Heart Association is asking Austin-area volunteers to participate in this nation-wide event. The little red hats are delivered to the maternity departments in Baylor Scott & White, Seton Healthcare Family, and St. David's HealthCare in and around Austin.
Crochet and knitted hat patterns are available on the AHA website.
For those of you who are lacking knitting or crocheting skills, the AHA also accepts sewn red hats and donations of yarn.
The hats and yarn should be:
- Cotton or acrylic
- Medium to heavy weight
- Machine washable and dryable
Hats and yarn can be dropped off or mailed to the following address between now and December 22, 2017:
The American Heart Association
10900-B Stonelake Blvd.
Austin, TX 78759
Help The American Heart Association in Austin reach its goal of 2,500 little red hats!
And now - knit away!
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