Thank you for visiting our page and for taking the time to listen and learn more about Olivia's story, and for all those affected by congenital heart disease (CHD). Our goal is to raise funds and awareness for CHD so that we can continue to promote research and give all Heart Warriors a fighting chance.
CHD is the most commonly occurring birth defect, affecting approximately 1 in 110 babies born, or a child born every 15 minutes. These defects are the leading cause of birth-defect related mortality.
We learned that Olivia's pulmonary valve was not opening during a routine anatomy visit when Caitlin was 18 weeks pregnant. For months, the questions of her weight, her breathing, her development, and whether or not she would even survive to birth loomed over us. At 37 weeks, her weight progression stalled, and our doctors advised us that we should induce labor. While there was so much uncertainty, we knew that Olivia could endure anything thrown her way. After multiple heart catheterizations and two open heart surgeries, she has defied the odds every step of the way.
This year, Olivia turns five years old, marking a significant milestone in her and our family's lives. Between 1996 and 2003, children born with pulmonary atresia intact ventricular septum (PAIVS) had a 55% chance of surviving to the age of 5. Through continued research and dedication to the care of these children, more and more heart warriors are living past this benchmark and into their adult lives. This progress has resulted in the development of a new medical specialty, "Adult Congenital Cardiology."
2020 has been marred by great suffering, sacrifice, and loss for millions of people in the US and around the world. We ask that we not forget the children who are afflicted with CHD, and that we support them and the families who undergo seemingly endless appointments, weight checks, catheterizations, blood draws, x-rays, breathing tubes, surgeries, and countless other invasive measures that no person, much less a child, should ever have to suffer through.
This year, we ask that you remember Olivia and all the heart warriors, as well as the heart angels taken too soon. Supporting research and development for the Children's Heart Foundation can come through donations as well as through advocacy and awareness.
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about Olivia's journey and our story, and for your compassion and love throughout our highs and lows along the way.