Congenital Heart Defect Awareness


Congenital Heart Defect(CHD) is a heart defect that babies are born with. CHD is a serious problem that needs more awareness.

Emma Perron, Photojournalist

During the week of February 7th through the 14th, it is Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week. CHD is just short for Congenital Heart Defect. CHD is a struggle a lot of families have to go through. CHD is not known very well, and most people do not know about the heart defect. Congenital Heart Defect needs more awareness and is not represented enough.


CHD is a defect in the heart where the blood vessels near the heart do not develop naturally. 1 out of 100 kids is born with this heart defect. There is not just one type of Congenital Heart Defect; there are over 40 different types, with no specific reason why babies are born with a heart defect.


Currently, there are two to three million people in the world that live with a type of Congenital Heart Defect. During a year, there are around 40,000  babies born worldwide with CHD, and 25% of those babies will need surgery or some other operation to stay alive and live normally. (The Children’s Heart Foundation). 


There are 137 different research projects about Congenital Heart Defects and there have been 14 million dollars for research projects and scientific collaborations. 


Since there has been money and different research projects, children are starting to live longer lives and be healthier. A significant population of people born with CHD is beginning to live longer and into adulthood because of the research. 


Some people find out their kid has Congenital Heart Defect while pregnant with their child. They can find out by having a particular type of Ultrasound called Fetal Echocardiogram. The Ultrasound does not catch the heart defect sometimes, so the parent and children find out when born or at later ages. 


Once people have surgery for the heart defect, the defect is not gone. The child can have other health problems and have many risks. Children should have regular visits with their doctor to ensure everything is okay and the child is healthy. 


 When people find out later in their life, they do not have a lot of symptoms. The most common symptom is shortness of breath and having a hard time breathing. 


Congenital Heart Defect is a big thing for a lot of families and friends. Knowing a family member or having a friend with CHD can leave a large and lasting impact on you. I have a soccer teammate who is my best friend; she found out two years ago she had this heart defect. She was not able to play sports or do what she loves, and it was like her life was on pause. She was out for seven months then had surgery to fix her heart. She came back after a few months and is back and better than ever. 


A Freshman Alex Jacks (9) says, “It was a hard thing to see my teammate go through her heart defect. Seeing her not be able to do what she loves was so hard.”


Congenital Heart Defect is a real problem and needs to be heard about. I never knew about CHD until my best friend went through two years and still has problems to this day. People should know more about this topic be aware and look out for this problem in themself, friends, or family.