Atlanta Congenital Heart Walk


Alaia's Heart Journey

Alaia Gallardo born 05/08/2019. 20.5 in, 7.2 lbs. My healthy baby… or so I thought. She went for her 24hr check up after birth, and was never returned back to the room. After patiently waiting for Alaia’s return, I was notified by the nurse that she had failed her oxygen test. Shortly after, I was notified that she was transferred to NICU due to an ultrasound revealing that there was an issue with her heart. The ultrasound revealed that she had a hole between the left and right sides of her heart. In addition, her pulmonary artery was narrow and was unable to allocate the proper amount of oxygen to her body.A condition known as Tetrology of Fallot. Due to the unfortunate circumstances of the condition, I was told that at some point Alaia would require open heart surgery. On May 12, 2019 Alaia was transferred to The Children’s hospital of Egleston, in order to be more closely monitored. She was in the CICU for 2 days, and on May 14 we were transferred to the step-down unit as she appeared to be stable. Due to the level of intensity of open heart surgery, the doctors suggested waiting until she was 4 months old in order to mitigate risks. On May 20th, a couple days before we were set to be discharged, Alaia began to have trouble breathing. At this point she had been turning blue and going limp. Her heart rate was steadily dropping, and as a result she was rushed back to the CICU. They stabilized her and decided they could no longer wait to perform the open heart surgery. On May 22, 2 weeks after Alaia’s birth, she underwent the necessary open heart surgery. The surgery ran a couple hours, and I received updates throughout. She is doing amazing at this moment, but in the future she will need another surgery. Past donations have helped doctors research heart defects and how to partially fix the problem. Without the research my baby would not be alive right now. We ask for donations because we would finally love to find a cure for heart defects.

Our team is raising critical funds for congenital heart defects! Congenital heart defects are the most commonly occurring birth defect, affecting approximately 1 in 110 babies born, or a child born every 15 minutes. Congenital heart defects are the leading cause of birth-defect related mortality.

Funded research is making a very big difference in the lives of CHD patients, helping to reduce incidences and increase survival, longevity and quality of life. Research has made a very big impact, and with survival and longevity increasing, even more research is needed to help address lifelong challenges that CHD patients will face. Every dollar in support of The Children's Heart Foundation helps to further their mission: to fund the most promising research to advance the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of congenital heart defects.

Please support our team, join us for the Congenital Heart Walk, or both!

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