February 7 – February 14 is recognized annually as CHD Awareness Week. Congenital Heart Defects are the most common birth defects, nearly 40,000 babies are born each year in the U.S. with a CHD.
Carter Bley was 1:100 babies born with a congenital heart defect. Carter was born with transposition of the great arteries with a ventricular septal defect and coarctation of the aorta, Dr. Vricella, his cardiac surgeon explained it this way: Carter’s heart was upside down, backwards, on the right side of his body instead of the left and the great arteries were switched.
Kim was 16 weeks pregnant when she was told the news that something was wrong with Carter’s heart. She went through her pregnancy not even sharing with others she was expecting for fear of losing her child and the uncertainty his diagnosis brought. Carter, now 4, is doing great, he still faces challenges, but because of research he is a happy little boy living a full life and his mom is a force to be reckoned with.
Kim is an active volunteer raising awareness about CHD, raising funds for CHD research, and advocating for policy change so that more babies can have the same outcome as Carter and more families can receive the medical coverage and support, they need. She is a convener of heart moms in the Maryland area and beyond, creating a network of heart families all supporting one another in their journey’s.
This year, Kim worked hard to have an official proclamation from Governor Hogan declaring this week (February 7 – 14) as Congenital Heart Defect Week here in Maryland and her hard work paid off!
Thank you Kim for being a voice, not only for your son, but for heart families all across Maryland!
Watch Carter’s Story:
Our mission is to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. For nearly 100 years, we’ve been fighting heart disease and stroke, striving to save and improve lives. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer worldwide, and stroke ranks second globally. Even when those conditions don’t result in death, they cause disability and diminish quality of life. We want to see a world free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.