Congenital heart defects (CHDs) are the leading birth defect in Maine children, however many parents of these children report feeling alone when their child is diagnosed. To help connect families across Maine and to provide a fun day for children with CHDs, the American Heart Association is hosting its 4th annual “Little Heart Hero Day” on Sunday, October 28 from 10 a.m. until noon at the Kennebec Valley YMCA in Augusta.
This free family event will feature pumpkin painting, face painting, selfies, a balloon artist, and heart-healthy snacks provided by Hannaford Supermarkets. With a “Little Heart Hero Halloween” theme, all kids at this event will receive superhero masks and can also dress up in their own Halloween costumes. All Little Heart Heroes – CHD survivors – will receive personalized red capes.
Courtney Ross of the WPOR FM morning crew will emcee a brief speaking program which will include a CHD survivor’s mom as she shares her son’s story. Attendees can also learn the lifesaving skill known as Hands-Only CPR with free demonstrations by the Association’s staff. In addition, CHD survivors and their siblings will receive fun giveaways.
In the U.S. about 40,000 babies are born with a CHD each year, which equates to one child every 15 minutes. Approximately 25% of children born with a CHD will need heart surgery or other interventions to survive. Today, because of advancements made through research, more infants born with congenital heart defects survive to adulthood. Despite the progress made in understanding and treating CHDs, more research is needed.
To RSVP for this free event, please contact Brittany Whalen at Brittany.Whalen@heart.org or 207-289-2394.