Saturday, January 28, 2012

CHD Awareness week 2012

For CHD (Congenital Heart Defect) Awareness week this year, I am participating in The Faces of CHD- Pinterest Awareness Challenge, created by heart moms, Ruth, Stefenie and Becca.

As I do every year, I'm sharing a little of my heart child's story. If you would like to read a more detailed account of our journey with CHD, you can go to this blog post, and with a follow up here.

In short, Bilal was diagnosed after birth with Tetralogy of Fallot, a complex congenital heart condition with four unique defects. We were anticipating surgery at 4-6 months of age, however because of signs of congestive heart failure and his growth rate slowing down, he underwent his full repair at 8 weeks of age, when he wasn't quite 9 pounds. He had a remarkable post operative course and we were home on day 4 post op. After a rather difficult 2 weeks at home, things started falling back into place and since then, Bilal has grown and thrived like any heart healthy child. He may require valve replacement surgery as an adult, but for him, this is 'possible', not 'probable'.

Bilal turned five this past July and has started kindergarten. He loves school, and has found a love for karate too, taking after his older siblings who are both second degree black belts.

We see the pediatric cardiologist every two years for a complete check-up, including echocardiogram, EKG and chest x-ray. And for the rest of the time we continue to enjoy our happy, crazy, wildly busy life.

Remember, congenital heart defects affect approximately 1 in every 100 children that are born. Bilal is one of them.


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