Thursday, February 7, 2013

CHD Awareness Week - Day 1

Today is the beginning of National Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week (February 7-14).  As you know, Keegan was born with the critical congenital heart defect (CCHD) of Tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia.  One in every 100 babies born in America each year will be diagnosed some form of CHD, and as much as 30% of those will be considered critical congenital heart defects, meaning those that will result in death without surgical correction within the first year of life.  During this week each year, we do what we can to raise awareness for the detection and treatment of CHDs.  Early detection is key in order to save the lives of children affected by a CHD.  In our case, Keegan was diagnosed in utero, and we were able to develop a plan for his treatment before his birth.  A simple screening after birth called a pulse oximetry test that uses a sticker and monitor to detect the amount of oxygenated blood can be an accurate predictor of a CHD.

I think it is safe to say that Keegan had an extremely eventful first of week of life.  From birth to open heart surgery to ECMO to transplant in seven very short days.  This year for each day of CHD Awareness Week, I will share a picture from the Keegan's corresponding day of life.  One week, one life, one angel, two hearts.

Keegan shortly before being taken for his first open heart surgery.
He was taken by ambulance at three hours old to Children's, leaving me alone at the hospital.
As peaceful as he looks in this picture, he was critically unstable and barely made it to his corrective heart surgery the next day.

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