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Heart to Heart with Anna

Heart to Heart with Anna

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December 03rd 2013:Siblings in the Congenital Heart Defect Community

Having a chronically ill child in the family has an impact on the whole family, including healthy siblings. According to the World Facts and Statistics on Disabilities and Disability Issues, about 10% of the total world’s population, or roughly 650 million people, live with a disability. Since heart defects are the number one birth defect, millions of families are impacted by congenital heart defects. Families of chronically ill children frequently have healthy children who are often overlooked when the ill child is hospitalized. Children’s responses to having a chronically ill sibling vary d

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Featured Guests

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Joey Jaworski

Joey Jaworski is the oldest son of Frank and Anna Jaworski. When he was one year old he started begging his parents for a baby brother. Having two female cousins his same age, Joey felt outnumbered and he wanted to even things out. When his mother told him that God might give them a sister, Joey said, “Don’t worry, Mom. Dad works at the hospital. If we have a girl, Dad can just switch it for a boy before we come home.” Clearly, Joey was determined to have a little brother. Right before Joey’s third birthday, Alexander Jaworski was born. Little did anyone know that Alex was born with a serious, congenital heart defect. Within Alex’s first year of life, he had 2 open-heart surgeries in a hospi
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Laura Ryan

Laura Ryan was the oldest of four children when her little brother, Carl, was born. The siblings were all three years apart so Laura was 12 years old when Carl was born and she also had a brother who was 6 years old and another one who was 9 years old. Unfortunately, when Carl was born, the family immediately realized something was wrong, but nobody knew how bad things were until Carl was sent to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston -- 100 miles from their home. Carl was born with a serious heart defect known as total anomalous pulmonary venous return or TAPVR. Since Laura’s little brother, Carl, was born in the 1950s, he is now one of the oldest TAPVR survivors in the United States.
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Don Meyer

Don Meyer is the director of the Sibling Support Project. Don is probably best known for creating Sibshops, lively programs just for young brothers and sisters of kids with special needs. Don also created SibKids and SibNet, no-cost listservs for young and adult brothers and sisters, which allow hundreds of siblings from around the world to connect with their peers. Don was a founder of the Supporting Extended Family Members program at the University of Washington, which pioneered services for fathers, siblings and grandparents of children with special needs. Don is senior author or editor of six books: • Sibshops: Workshops for brothers and sisters of children with special needs • Unco
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