The Canadian Congenital Heart Alliance (CCHA) is the only national organization that supports and advocates for the over 257,000 children and adults in Canadian living with Congenital Heart Disease (CHD).
CHD is the most common birth defect, affecting 1 in 100 babies born worldwide. CHD is a general term for a range of birth defects that affect the normal way the heart works, and are present at birth. It requires lifelong, specialized care including many auxiliary needs and challenges such as; insurance, mental health, disability, financial planning...
Today we celebrate 75 years since the first "blue baby" surgery by Alfred Blalock, with Helen Taussig and Vivien Thomas on November 29, 1944.
The child was 15-month-old, Eileen Saxon, the surgery was a success and she went home after 3 months. Unfortunately her cynotic episodes returned and 2 days before her 2nd birthday, she underwent another operation, she passed away 5 days later.
Now known as the BT or BTT shunt, the surgery was a success and really the start of #CHD surgery. We have come a long way since then, with an almost 95% survival rate into adulthood now.
Children pass many milestones growing up, the first day of kindergarten, the liberty of becoming a licensed driver and -going-off-to-college or university, just to name a few. Parents give the necessary “talks” about responsibility, risk and behaviour. These transitions are thought of as rites of passage.
Prepping our youth for entry into adult health care should be no different than transitioning into college, university or into the workforce. At some point, most individuals will assume responsibility for maintaining and managing their own health. There remains work to do to...