Heart defects are the most common of all birth defects. Roughly 8 in 1000 babies born - that is around 40,000 babies each year in the USA - are born with structural problems in their heart. The term doctors use for these problems is Congenital (meaning you are born with it) Heart Disease - or CHD.

CHD comes in all forms. Every heart created is like a flower.

Significant advances have been made over the past twenty years in the field of pediatric cardiology. These include improvements in fetal detection (finding out about the heart problem during pregnancy so the parents and doctors know what to expect and do when the baby is born), newborn surgery and care (some babies cannot leave the hospital without a life-saving heart operation), causes of CHD (why the heart defect happens), and long-term support. Yet still, only 60% of babies born with the heart problem that Angelo and Amelia had will be expected to live long enough to celebrate their first birthday.

There are many organizations dedicated to supporting families affected by CHD as well as raising money for research for babies born with CHD. Here are a few located in the New York tri-state area:

http://www.matthewsheartsofhope.org/

http://colinskids.weebly.com/

A portion of the proceeds from WATER IN MAY will be dedicated to research to help babies like Angelo and Amelia.

Water in May
By Ismee Williams