Friday, August 14, 2009

American Heart Association's 2009 Heart Walk

Hello ladies! It's Allison (craftgirlalli) from Gifts From the Heart.

I am currently raising funds for the American Heart Association's 2009 Heart Walk. I want to share my story with all of you on why I participate in this event.

My son, Colby, who is now 28 months old, is a heart disease survivor. Colby was born on April 13, 2007, a healthy, beautiful baby boy. Weighing in at 7lbs. 12oz. and 21 inches long. Never once was there any question about his health. He was always above average for his age when it came to his height and weight. He was also developmentally on schedule as well. So, when it came time for his 12 month check up and the doctor told us he thought he heard a heart murmur, of course, I panicked. However, the doctor seemed to think that since Colby had never had any issues in the past, that this would turn out to be an innocent murmur that he would grow out of as he got older. As a precaution, his doctor wanted us to come back in a month and see if he could still hear the murmur. A month later we went back and the murmur was still there. He still didn't seem to be concerned about it, so I tried to not let the panick and worry take over my emotions, but it was hard! At 14 months old, Colby went to see a pediatric cardiologist. By just listening to Colby's heart and feeling his pulse in different areas, the cardiologist told us that he was 98% sure he knew what the cause of Colby's murmur was. Colby had an echo and an ekg done. Those confirmed that Colby had a Coarctation of the aorta. We were then informed that he would need surgery to correct this problem. If not corrected in the near future, it could cause more serious problems down the road. So, we made an appointment right away to meet with the surgeon to find out all the details and get a date set for his surgery. On July 30, 2008, Colby had closed heart surgery. With lots of prayers and great staff at the hospital, Colby made it through surgery just fine! He spent 2 days in the PICU and 2 days in the regular unit. We had one little scare during that time in the hospital. Colby's color wasn't returning to his face and lips, and he was right on the border line of needing a blood transfusion. Luckily, he didn't end up needing one. After just 4 days of being in the hospital, Colby was released to come home. He didn't need to be on any medication and had very little restrictions.

I am so grateful to the doctors and nurses that took care of him during his surgery and his time in the hospital. I am also very thankful for the AHA and the people who help support them. Without their research and education on heart diseases, who knows where we would be today.

Please help me in my efforts of raising funds for the AHA so that everyone can be as fortunate as Colby.

If you would like to make an online donation, you can go to my Heart Walk page. You can also make a donation through paypal or snail mail (please email for details).