I have handed my son over to surgeons knowing they would stop his heart, and prayed that it would beat again. I have learned more than I ever thought I could. I have cried more than I ever thought possible. I have celebrated victories and milestones that others never have to. I have walked a road I never knew existed. I will walk this road forever. I am a mommy to a CHD Angel ♥ iLy Kayden James

Friday, February 6, 2015

Faces of CHD: Brinly

Our daughter gave our family a crash course in cardiology when she was born. Little did we know about the pediatric cardiology world and that that it is the most common type of birth defects as well as the leading cause of birth defect-associated infant illness/death. The statistics are startling that 1 in 110 children will be born with a CHD.  Brinly Barker is 6 years old and came into this world on December 4, 2008 fighting. She was resuscitated at birth and sent to the intensive care nursery. She fought for 2 years and turned blue along with struggling to gain weight. At the age of 2 she weighed less than she did at 9 months. We continued to take her to the doctor but they had lots of reasons why the things were happening. Finally we said enough is enough! To the surprise of our family she had a Congenital Heart Defect. We got a crash course in cardiology and learned that she was fighting for her life. Luckily we were able to catch it. So many student athletes have lost their lives and there seems to be so little ever mentioned about CHD’s. Brinly was followed very closely for the next 3 years as they thought she was a very good candidate for a relatively new procedure. Brinly had surgery on March 25th, 2014 and just began Kindergarten. She has a contagious smile, never meets a stranger and doesn’t let anything get her down.  She loves playing with her cat Simon, being with her big brother, boating and playing with friends. Since her surgery she has been able to enjoy cheerleading and swimming! I want to raise awareness about Congenital Heart Defects. Everyone thinks of an elderly person, someone who is overweight and/or someone who doesn’t take good care of themselves. They don’t think of their child or newborn. If we can save one person then we have done our job.

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