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Heart to Heart with Anna

Heart to Heart with Anna

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February 11th 2014:Congenital Heart Defect Advocacy

Congenital Heart Defect (or CHD) Awareness is an extremely important issue. Congenital heart defects (heart defects present at birth) are the #1 Birth Defect. While a commonly reported statistic is 1 in 100 babies are born with a heart defect, that statistic does NOT include the most common CHD – bicuspid aortic valve. In fact, that statistic does NOT include a number of CHDs. That means that more than 1 baby in 100 is born with a CHD. Congenital heart defects also kill more babies than any other birth defect. In the United States there are 40,000 babies born every year with a CHD. There will

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Featured Guests

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Jodi Lemacks

Jodi Lemacks discovered, five months into her pregnancy that her son would be born with a severe heart defect that would require a complex operation as soon as he was born. Thus, before Joshua was even born, Jodi and her husband Mark were thrust into the roles of advocates for their son. First they fought with medical policies and their insurance company. Now Jodi is fighting as an advocate in a different way. As the National Program Coordinator for one of the largest pediatric congenital heart defect support groups, she has become a strong advocate. Mended Little Hearts has worked together with The Children’s Heart Foundation, the American Heart Association, and the American College of Ca
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Amy Basken

Amy Basken was thrust into the world of congenital heart disease, or CHD, 9 years ago with the birth of her son, Nicholas. The first 3 days of his life included 3 hospitals, a helicopter ride and heart surgery to repair a severe coarctation of the aorta. While Nicholas was an infant, Amy told her story to lawmakers in Washington DC. She then realized the power of the individual story, and the positive impact it can have on others. Amy has led congenital heart disease advocacy efforts for many of the largest national CHD organizations and coalitions. Her accomplishments include the introduction, passage and funding of the Congenital Heart Futures Act, the development and growth of the Congres
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Jon Ritchings, Jr.

Jon Ritchings, Jr. is a 42-year-old father who was born with pulmonary atresia and a small but functional right ventricle. He has had three open-heart surgeries and over 30 cardiac catheterizations. Thus he has had a repaired valve, a replaced valve, part of his heart removed and an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator or ICD placed in his heart to make his heart beat. In his time he has had more than a few opportunities to advocate for his own health. More recently, in 2013, he attended an Advocacy Day function in Washington, D.C. representing not only himself, but others in the CHD community. He has also written letters to his Congressmen and Senators. He uses his personal Facebook page
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