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Feb 07, 2012

Spotlight on Congenital Heart Defects

Support for patients with congenital heart disease.

Did you know that congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect, affecting nearly 40,000 infants each year? They are also the leading cause of infant mortality in the United States, costing roughly $1.4 billion nationally in medical costs each year. Fortunately, with increased awareness and prevention, we have the power to reduce the impact of congenital heart defects on the lives of infants and adults. Not only has research has helped patients with congenital heart defects live longer, with about 1 million adults currently living with this condition, but it has also helped further prevention through weight maintenance, diabetes control, quitting smoking, taking folic acid and avoiding drug use.

Are you or someone you know affected by or living with congenital heart disease? Here are some resources we hope you’ll find helpful.

CHD Family Information Pack

Mended Little HeartGuide

CDC's Five Facts about Congenital Heart Defects


Robby's Story: Tetralogy of Fallot

Robby Motta was born with Tetralogy of Fallot—four defects within his heart. Eight years later, Robby is an active second-grader.

Deborah Flaherty-Kizer is CardioSmart

Deborah Flaherty-Kizer was born with a heart defect. Instead of allowing her condition to limit her, she regularly challenges herself physically and serves as a mentor to other heart patients.

Jacob Burris is CardioSmart

When he was 12 years old, Jacob Burris was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect. Today, he is spreading the word about the importance of checking blood pressure and raising awareness about CHDs.

Rudy Wilson Galdonik is CardioSmart

Born with an atrial septal defect, Rudy Wilson Galdonik learned early on that while she couldn't control her physical limitations, she could control how she approached her heart condition.