Want to see just how awesome modern medicine can be?
Then go here.
I loved reading the comments here, and I'm slowly working my way through each and every person's story. I am now "friends" with another heart mom whose son, Will, had the same defect as Preston thanks to The Faces of CHD pinterest page. She's the only one I've come across and I'm grateful to "know" her.
Though there are a lot of success stories, there are some babies, children, adults who did not live to tell their own story. Reading about those takes my breath away. I'm not sure why some live and some die. I like to believe that God needed them more than we needed them...that they are just that special (Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 139:13) I will continue to believe that; however, I do believe also that more needs to be done to help diagnose congenital heart defects earlier.
I truly believe that Preston would not be here today without his cardiologist spending countless hours reviewing his echos trying to figure out exactly what his defect consisted of. Had they not been aware or prepared there would have been no fixing his defect during the "calm before the storm." We were the lucky ones. There are too many others who went undiagnosed... then the storm hit... it proved to be too late for some. Because of that, I'm posting about CHD. I wouldn't wish CHD on anybody, but I do hope and pray for timely detection and diagnosis of those who do have congenital heart defects before it's too late.
CHD facts from itsmyheart.org:
- Congenital Heart Defects are the #1 birth defect worldwide
- Congenital Heart Defects are the #1 cause of birth defect related deaths worldwide
- About 1 out of every 100 babies are born each year with some type of Congenital Heart Defect in the United States (approx. 40,000/year)
- Nearly twice as many children die from Congenital Heart Defects in the United States each year as from all forms of childhood cancers combined, yet funding for pediatric cancer research is five times higher than funding for Congenital Heart Defects
- Each year worldwide 100,000 babies (under one year old) will not live to celebrate their first birthday
- Each year in the United States approximately 4,000 babies (under one year old) will not live to celebrate their first birthday
- The cost for inpatient surgery to repair Congenital Heart Defects exceeds $2.2 billion a year
- Of every dollar the government spends on medical funding only a fraction of a penny is directed toward Congenital Heart Defect research
- The American Heart Association directs only $0.30 of every dollar donated toward research. The remainder goes toward administration, education and fundraising efforts. Of the $0.30 that goes toward research only $0.01 goes toward pediatric cardiology for CHD
- Though research is ongoing, at least 35 defects have now been identified
- Although some babies will be diagnosed during gestation or at birth, sometimes the diagnosis is not made until days, weeks, months, or even years after. In some cases, CHD is not detected until adolescence or adulthood
- It is a proven fact that the earlier CHD is detected and treated, it is more likely the affected child will survive and have less long term health complications