Thursday, 30 January 2014

Whole Hearted Valentine's

Photo credit: Distinctive Foto Imaging
I would like you to meet Owen.
He is 1 in 100.
At first glance, he looks like a typical, feisty 5 year old boy.  But Owen is far from typical. 
Owen was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, he was born with half a heart. This heart defect is completely fatal without immediate intervention at birth.  Within 12 hours of being born, Owen was on full life support.  At 7 days old, he under went his first of 4 open heart surgeries.  It is nothing short of a miracle he is alive today.  
His medical team at the Hospital for Sick Children have preformed miracles and have helped keep him alive.  Owen has undergone 4 open heart surgeries, 8 cardiac catheterizations, countless procedures, he has suffered a stroke, and he has had a cardiac arrest. His future is filled with more surgeries, procedures and medical interventions and is anything but certain.
Unfortunately, the area of Congenital Heart Defects (CHDs) is grossly underfunded. 1 in 100 babies are born worldwide with a heart defect (Russell & Golding, 2010). Doctors and researchers are working tirelessly to find innovations and treatments for children with Congenital Heart Defects, but they cannot do it without money.  CHDs do not have a huge celebrity backing us, our community is not the “buzz” word in the media, our hashtag is not trending.  But every penny (or rounded nickel) that goes to help research, is one step towards saving the lives of children.
Russell, J. & Golding, F. (2010, January 15). About Heart Conditions. AboutKidsHealth. Retrieved January 9, 2013 from

One in 100 Canadian children are born with a congenital heart defect and more than half need surgery to survive.  More than half of the patients who require surgery are under one year old, and almost a quarter are less than a month old.  Congenital Heart Defects or CHDs are the most common birth defect.  Funds raised by Cardiac Kids are used to support the children and staff of the cardiology ward at The Hospital for Sick Children.
Cardiac Kids is a volunteer group established in 2000 to raise much needed funds for children who are suffering from congenital heart disease.
Whole Hearted Valentine’s from Everyday Grace 
Whole Hearted Valentine's are Valentine cards designed by Everyday Grace.  100% of the proceeds from the sale of the Whole Hearted Valentine's goes to help heal broken hearts through Cardiac Kids.  Go to Everyday Grace to purchase your Valentine cards and help support Owen and the rest of the Cardiac Kids!

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