February 7th – 14th is CHD Awareness Week and I can’t think of anyone better to be the first guest poster on Baby Gator’s Den: Cora’s Mom, Kristine. Kristine and I met on Twitter when we were both pregnant, but unfortunately her sweet Cora passed away due to a congenital heart defect on December 6th, 2009. Faced with tragedy, Kristine has made huge strides in making sure people across the world are aware of CHD and what can be done to help.
Thank you Kristine, for everything you have done in the past 14 months for babies and their hearts; I’m honored to be your friend.
My daughter Cora died of an undiagnosed CHD at five days old.
Every day is Cora’s Day.
I work for her constantly
Every week is a time to spread awareness.
Every month, I want to tell as many people as possible.
I didn’t know about congenital heart disease until after Cora was already dead. Over the past year, I’ve learned it’s the most common birth affect. Kills the most babies. Kills more babies than all forms of childhood cancer combined. So, I keep working for Cora and for all the little ones who lost their fight with congenital heart disease.
Cora and I hope to educate all mothers and fathers so less of these little one’s lose their fight. We’re new to this battle, but lucky to have connected to so many mothers and fathers just as passionate as we are.
My biggest hope is one day there won’t be a need for a CHD Awareness week. But, for now the need is great.
No cure for congenital heart diseases currently exists. All that can be done are fixes to help as much as possible.
As Cora’s Story proves, not all congenital heart diseases are detected until it’s too late. More research is needed to find a way to pick up most, or all of these defects. Awareness helps fund research by gathering public support.
Until a sure fire test or screening method comes into place, arm new moms and dads should read the warning signs that their baby might be one of the one in 100 with a CHD and ask for a pulse oximetry test to pick up serious defects at between 24 to 48 hours. And, above all else, spend time reading about these heartbreaking conditions.
For more about congenital heart defects, visit http://www.corasstory.org