Did you know that anyone can have a child with a congenital heart defect? Almost one of a hundred births will have some form of congenital heart disorder. The 6th Annual Cardiac Kids Parent Conference is here to help.
The 6th Annual Cardiac Care Parent Conference is September 11, 2010 at the Childrens' Hospital. Buy your tickets before August 30 for a special discount. Bring your partner for only $5 more.
I was born was a mild congenital heart defect that required surgery by the time I was a Freshman in High School. While it was a confusing time for me, I can not imagine what it must have been like for my parents. The financial burden, the questions, the uncertainty - all things I didn't worry about because they did.
I confess I never really thought about how hard it must have been for them until chatting with Jennifer, a co-worker and friend, about her vivacious child and her love for the group Cardiac Kids, a parent group for Congenital and Acquired Heart Disease (CHD) kids. Jennifer said,
"Being a parent of a CHD kid myself, I can vividly remember what it was like those first few years, and even some days now. It feels very isolating. You feel hopeless, alone, and scared. Some of us find out during pregnancy, others after the birth when "things go wrong" or worse yet, later, at home with your seemingly healthy newborn who is suddenly very ill. You feel like you are the only one who has this problem. You can't just go to a play group and talk about heart disease with a fellow new mom. This group connects those parents, supports them, encourages them.
My son is six now and going into first grade this year. He has had three heart surgeries and a bucket full of other related complications but to watch him you would never know unless you saw his "zipper" scar. Even now, after the majority of that is all behind us this group of parents is a welcome comfort, a source of information, and a gateway of information of what is to come."
Jennifer also recommends Library resources such as:
- Medical Databases
- Books for children on going to the doctor and/or the hospital
- The Healthy Body Cookbook: Over 50 Fun Activities and Delicious Recipes for Kids by Joan D'Amico and Karen Eich Drummond
- Walk on Water: Inside an Elite Pediatric Surgical Unit by Michael Ruhlman