Hello Friends and Family!
Please help us raise awareness and funds to fight Congenital Heart Defects (CHDs) by making a contribution to our team and sharing this page with your family and friends. This cause is very personal to us as our daughter, Abigail, was born with a CHD and required life-saving surgery when she was 3 months old. Abby is a such a strong little fighter, as most CHD kids have to be. Our journey is something that we never would have chosen, but we are continuously seeking out the good in it. We believe that it has made us stronger, more loving people who cherish every moment as a gift. It also encourages us to strive harder to make sure that Abby has the same opportunities and life experiences as every other child.
Congenital heart defects are the #1 birth defect worldwide and is the leading cause of all infant deaths in the United States. Nearly 1 in 100 people are born with a CHD. To raise awareness and funds for research, we are forming a team to participate in the CHD Coalition's Annual CHD Awareness Walk on Sunday, September 29th. We will be called Abigail's Army and would be honored to have you all walk with us to celebrate and support Abby and so many other children and adults like her. Please also consider making a donation to help fund more lifesaving research for all people affected by CHD. With research comes more treatment options and better outcomes and quality of life for those affected.
Thank you for your support and we hope to see you on September 29th!
The Lopez Family
What is a congenital heart defect?
- Congenital heart defects (CHDs) are problems with the heart’s structure that are present at birth.
- Common examples include holes in the inside walls of the heart and narrowed or leaky valves. In more severe forms of CHDs, blood vessels or heart chambers may be missing, poorly formed, and/or in the wrong place.
How common are congenital heart defects?
- CHDs are the most common birth defects. CHDs occur in almost 1% of births.
- An approximate 100-200 deaths are due to unrecognized heart disease in newborns each year. These numbers exclude those dying before diagnosis.
- Nearly 40,000 infants in the U.S. are born each year with CHDs.
- CHDs are as common as autism and about twenty-five times more common than cystic fibrosis.
- Approximately two to three million individuals are thought to be living in the United States with CHDs. Because there is no U.S. system to track CHDs beyond early childhood, more precise estimates are not available.
- Thanks to improvements in survival, the number of adults living with CHDs is increasing. It is now believed that the number of adults living with CHDs is at least equal to, if not greater than, the number of children living with CHDs.
What is the health impact of congenital heart defects?
- CHDs are the most common cause of infant death due to birth defects.
- Approximately 25% of children born with a CHD will need heart surgery or other interventions to survive.
- Over 85% of babies born with a CHD now live to at least age 18. However, children born with more severe forms of CHDs are less likely to reach adulthood.
- Surgery is often not a cure for CHDs. Many individuals with CHDs require additional operation(s) and/or medications as adults.
- People with CHDs face a life-long risk of health problems such as issues with growth and eating, developmental delays, difficulty with exercise, heart rhythm problems, heart failure, sudden cardiac arrest or stroke.
- People with CHDs are now living long enough to develop illnesses like the rest of the adult population, such as high blood pressure, obesity and acquired heart disease.
- CHDs are now the most common heart problem in pregnant women.