When our daughter was born three months premature, my husband and I were devastated, but hopeful. There were huge chances that her lungs wouldn’t be developed, that her brain would bleed, that her heart valve wouldn’t work correctly, that she’d develop an intestinal disease common to preemies, and a plethora of other risks we faced. Fortunately, she flew past each of these potential disasters and then some—and is now a healthy, if small, child, completely free of complications and at her age level.
Many families are not as lucky. About 1 in 100 babies is born with a congenital heart defect. My husband’s brother was one of these, and thankfully he is healthy and well today; after a long career as a football and wrestling star in high school, he’s now about to go down the aisle with his sweet fiancée. He, of course, is also one of the lucky ones.
A congenital heart defect, or CHD, can mean a lifetime of complications for many people. In countries where it’s hard to get medical treatment, it often means death. For children like this, an organization known as Little Hearts, Big Love exists. It pairs up children who require heart surgery with physicians and hospitals that can help them, and helps provide the means for the surgeries themselves.
This holiday season, donating to Little Hearts, Big Love would make someone’s Christmas wishes truly come true. You can give directly at the website and know that your gift is funding something more precious, more needed, than any stocking suffer or package that you might else wise purchase this year. When our daughter was in the hospital, we relied on the kindness of strangers quite a bit—from our housing (we were over 3,000 miles from home) to transportation to food to even her clothes to come home in. I know how it feels to rely on the help of others, even when your pride protests heavily against it; it actually feels like you have your own team of angels here on Earth, just to help you make it through this tough time. You could be such an angel for a child in need this year.
You can also sign up at the site—either to be put on the list to be helped, or to sign up as a doctor, surgeon, or other healthcare provider to help give assistance. Call the organization at 630-800-8437 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.