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. 1 in 4 will have a critical CHD that will require heart surgery or other interventions within the first year of their life. Congenital heart defects are the leading cause of birth-defect related mortality.
Gemma was diagnosed in utero at 20 weeks with a Hypoplastic right ventricle/Double inlet left ventricle. Babies with DILV have an intact left ventricle (the pumping chamber of the heart that pumps blood to the body) and a small right ventricle (the pumping chamber that pumps blood to the lungs). Both atria supply blood to the left ventricle, and as a result oxygen-rich blood and oxygen-poor blood are combined. This mixture of blood flows to the baby's lungs and body.
On August 18, 2019 Gemma was born, and did extremely well during her 11 night NICU stay. On September 24, 2019 she underwent her first intervention, a catheterization to insert a stent in her PDA. At nine months old Gemma had her first surgery, the Glenn procedure, and then another surgery one month later to remove a pseudo aneurysm. She'll undergo the Fontan surgery in a few years. These surgeries don't cure her CHD, but they allow her to survive with half a heart.
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!