Congenital Heart Defects: Honoring Hayden's Heart
This week is Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Week. So while you're celebrating hearts of the Valentine variety, check out how you can support the baby hearts struggling with CHD.
While many moms are adorning crafts and cards with hearts in the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, Hayden’s mom is raising awareness for the babies’ born with Congenital Heart Defects. During Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Week, and all year long, the Hayden’s Heart foundation is helping families endure the diagnosis by honoring the little boy who was loved by many.
In March of 2012, baby Hayden was born to the Dorsett family. While his delivery was perfect, Hayden spent many days in the NICU because he was born with a very rare birth defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. “His first smile happened in room 11 in the CICU—and it seemed he didn’t stop smiling until the day everything in our lives flipped upside down”, writes his mom. After an open heart surgery and many days in the hospital, Hayden passed away at 5 months old. Heart broken, Hayden’s mom started the Hayden’s Heart Foundation to raise awareness and provide support to families going through similar diagnoses.
Congenital Heart Disease is the #1 cause of birth defect-related deaths, and the leading cause of all infant deaths in the US. According to The Children’s Heart Foundation, nearly one in every 100 babies is born with CHD. Each year over 1,000,000 babies are born worldwide with a congenital heart defect. 100,000 of them will not live to see their first birthday and thousands more will die before they reach adulthood. Even more sobering is the fact that, in the United States, twice as many children die from congenital heart defects each year than from all forms of childhood cancer combined, yet funding for pediatric cancer research is five times higher than funding for CHD.
Hayden’s mom knew more had to be done.
In addition to staring a foundation in his honor – one that hosts and organizes events throughout the country in honor of babies born with CHD – Hayden’s mom wrote a letter to Raegan Moya-Jones, CEO of the beloved baby blankets aden + anais. In it, she expressed how much Hayden loved his aden + anais blankets. Hayden’s mom told his story, and it moved the CEO to action. Mother of four, Moya-Jones says, “I honestly don’t know what it was, but the letter I received from Ady telling me about Hayden’s story particularly touched my heart, I never had the privilege of meeting that beautiful little boy but his smiling face will be forever etched in my memory. The fact that our blankets seem to have a positive impact on people’s lives is a wonderful and privileged place for me to have ended up. That’s by far and away the most rewarding part of my entire aden + anais experience.”
The adorable Hayden Heart swaddle is a loving tribute of the sweet boy, with his tiny footprints woven throughout, and is made with the exceptional quality you expect from aden + anais products. And when you purchase the swaddle from the Hayden’s Heart website, 100 percent of the profits goes to foundation’s efforts in raising awareness and support to families.
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