Kids Heartbeat 02-14-14

This week marked CHD Awareness Week.
By Allison Morrison

(LUBBOCK, TX) - This week marked CHD Awareness Week.

It was seven days dedicated to educating the public about Congenital Heart Defects.

Right here on the South Plains, children like Bodie Gannaway are living, and thriving, despite the birth defect.

When Gannaway started Hippotherapy last year, he couldn't even sit up.

As we found out, that's not the case today.

"He's finally learned to sit up and hold his head up. It strengthened his core body strength and also his head control," Bodie's mom, Stephanie said.

Bodie is a part of a special group of kids, born with a Congenital Heart Defect.

"His initial open heart surgery was not successful and he had many complications, including five cardiac arrests," Stephanie explained.

During one of those cardiac arrests, Bodie didn't get enough oxygen to his brain.

As a result, he lost every skill he'd ever learned. 

"We were told by a doctor at Covenant that Bodie has rewritten the manual on infant survival after open heart surgery."

Now Bodie's life is all about therapy.

So Stephanie has made it her mission to dispel the myths by spreading awareness about Congenital Heart Defects.

"We get asked questions like what caused it? Did you drink, did you smoke while you were pregnant?"

Stephanie said it can happen to anyone.

She said 1 in 100 babies, born in the U.S every year, have a CHD. 

And although surgery is an option, Stephanie said there is no known cause and there is no cure for the defect.

She said there are simple tests, like a pulse oximeter screening at birth, could save your child's life.

It's a test that measures the percentage of oxygen in the blood and a low number could signal a problem.

For more information about CHD Awareness Week, visit http://www.tchin.org/aware/
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