Children can be born with heart defects or Congenital Heart Defect (CHD). The Children’s Heart Foundation website says, “A CHD means a child is born with an abnormally structured heart and/or large vessels. Such hearts may have incomplete or missing parts, may be put together the wrong way, may have holes between chamber partitions or may have narrow or leaky valves or narrow vessels.”
In an interview with Jennifer Cooper, Board Member of Amazing Little Hearts shares how “Some kids have a surgery and that’s it, they don’t have any restrictions, and they just live a very, very normal life. And then you have the total other end where kids are in physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, that are probably never going to be able to go to school, they’ll be in a special class forever. So it’s a really wide variety.”
Children born with heart defects have expensive medical bills. Parents need help with awareness and expenses. Amazing Little Hearts raises funds to provide a variety of care packages and support group meetings. Cooper says, “You can go to a meeting and people hear ‘support group’ and they think ‘oh everybody’s sitting around and they’re crying’ and it is not like that at all. You come and it gives us all a little bit of hope to see our kids running around acting crazy. And you just think, you know these kids have had multiple heart surgeries, and it’s a very happy place to be.”
Amazing Little Hearts is located within Medical City Children’s Hospital in Dallas, Texas, but we welcome ALL families from all over the U.S. They can always be reached online as well. Cooper says, “We use social media so much to ask questions about what’s going on with our kids. We can put it on our Amazing Little Hearts page or our personal pages and immediately there’s someone else that’s had that same, exact issues. And is available to talk to you or tell you what they did.”
In an interview with Phillip Wolf, Director of a documentary about CHD awareness talks about his personal experiences with his son born with a heart defect. By creating a documentary about children and families affected by the traumatic experience can gain exposure. Projects such as Silent Cries will make the public more aware of the mass funding need to help save lives and improving their quality of life. As of today, the crowdfunding campaign for Silent Cries has 28 days to go to reach their goal of $12,000.
According to the Children’s Heart Foundation, reach remains underfunded because less than one cent per dollar is going towards pediatric research for children born with heart defects. Cooper says, “My personal story is that I always did Breast Cancer Walks or you know, Diabetes Walks and things and I always felt like I needed a Cause. So when I first went to one of these meetings, I saw that they had the support for one another. So I asked how I could get involved.”