Coming Together To Save Hearts

By Angela Bekiaris

Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week, also known as CHD Awareness Week, is observed on February 7 — it is celebrated annually for seven days starting on February 7 until February 14, which is known as CHD Awareness Day.

What Is CHD?
Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week is an annual campaign that promotes awareness of congenital heart defects. The term ‘congenital heart defect’ (CHD) refers to a defect in the structure of the heart and great vessels that is present at birth. According to reports, about nine of every 1 000 children born alive have CHD. While some defects are small enough to not require any treatment, in most cases CHD requires medication and/or surgery. Medical professionals explain that most patients with CHD need lifelong cardiac care.

When Was It Launched?
According to, Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day was launched by Children’s Heart Society, a non-profit, charitable organisation based in Canada that focuses on providing support to families of children with congenital and acquired heart disease. Other organizations, such as HeartKids (Australia) and Dr. Mani Children Heart Foundation (India) supported the initiative, and the observance has gone international.

The Aim Of CHD Awareness Week?
The aim of this health awareness day is, just like any other, is to educate the world on the disease by raising public awareness through campaigns and research.

Did You Know?
Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel’s son, William, was born with tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia, a CHD disease. William has had two open-heart surgeries, and according to Kimmel will need a third ‘hopefully non-invasive procedure’ when he’s in his early teens. Jaime King’s son, Leo Thames, faced a major hurdle at four months old — he underwent surgery after being diagnosed with a rare heart defect called transposition of the great arteries. And Sylvester Stallone’s eldest daughter, Sophia, first underwent a successful heart surgery at just two months old, when doctors corrected a congenital malformation of a valve.



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