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Heart to Heart with Anna

Heart to Heart with Anna

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January 21st 2014:How Parents Relationships are Affected by Having a Child with a Congenital Heart Defect

According to the American Psychological Association “Marriage and divorce are both common experiences. In Western cultures, more than 90% of people marry by age 50. Healthy marriages are good for couples’ mental and physical health. They are also good for children; growing up in a happy home protects children from mental, physical, educational and social problems. However, about 40-50% of married couples in the United States divorce.” I scoured the Internet for statistics on families of children with congenital heart defects and was only able to find one small study. That study from 1979-1980

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Brenda Vignaroli

Brenda Vignaroli: I am the single parent of two daughters, Cara, who is a 31-year-old feisty, healthy-heart young woman and Jessica, 28, born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Jessica is the second oldest survivor of HLHS from UCLA Medical Center. I was married during the first two surgeries Jessica endured, the Norwood and then the Glenn Shunt procedures. By the third and final surgery, my marriage began to wane and Jessica's father had left the state and abandoned the family, which forced me to face this most difficult time without a spouse, and Jessica without a father. Forced to go back to work, I spent the next 28 years working in the design department of a major apparel company
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Leah Lowrey

My name is Leah Lowrey. I’m a mother of five, two which are in heaven. I have one girl and four boys. I am a funeral director/embalmer and work part-time at Greater Jackson Mortuary. I am the founder of Praying Hearts, which is a Christian support group for heart families. I have served as the co-coordinator for Mississippi Mended Little Hearts. I spend lots of time working with heart families and fundraising for Mississippi’s Batson Children's Hospital. It was a passion given to me after my journey with my son, Pierce, was born with critical aortic stenosis. We lost Jonathan when he was three years old. He was killed in a car accident in 2003. Then we lost Pierce at 3 months of age when he
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Frank Jaworski

I am the father of two sons, Joseph who is 22 and heart healthy and Alexander who is 19 and was diagnosed after birth with HLHS or hypoplastic left heart syndrome. My wife Anna and I went through two open-heart surgeries with Alex before his first birthday and a third when Alex was 17. We have been happily married for 27 years. We live in central Texas where I work as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. My wife Anna is the author and publisher of several books written for the congenital heart defect (CHD) community and I have assisted her as illustrator and editor. I am also the Vice President of Baby Hearts Press and the Vice President of the nonprofit organization that we founded ca
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