Imagine being told your tiny baby will need open heart surgery, and wondering what that means for your child’s future. Kelli Poole’s daughter required three surgeries by the time she was just two years old. This is typical for families of children with congenital heart defects.
Tara Hall’s daughter has also need special medical attention since being diagnosed with a heart condition. Both mothers wanted to volunteer recently at the charity Ride For Little Hearts in Knoxville, Tennessee. The event is one of many fundraisers coordinated by mother Karin Grindall, who founded the organization Saving Little Hearts to support families like hers who’ve had to face the challenges of pediatric heart surgery.
Grindall thought it would be fitting to send care packages to families who could use some comfort, support and education during their child’s cardiac surgery. Now she makes sure hundreds of care packages go out each year to families around the country.
What advice would mothers who’ve been there give other families learning of this diagnosis? “Try not to panic,” shared Hall. Her daughter is 12 years old, while Poole’s is 13. Heart valve repairs and stint installations are some of the common procedures these moms are familiar with.
Parents don’t usually have clear answers why their daughters were born with heart challenges, but they are encouraged about medical treatment options. Poole added that options are much better for families than they were a few years ago. “There’s a lot of hope now.”
Learn more here about Saving Little Hearts.