This week is congenital heart defect awareness week.
Matthew was born with a few CHDs-- an artial septal defect (ASD) that closed on its own, a bicuspid aortic valve that is still functioning well, though likely causing his dilated aortic root, and a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA).
Because Matthew's undiagnosed PDA was sending 4 times more blood to his lungs than usual (which caused the pressure in his lungs to be dangerously high) for his first 7 months of life, Matthew's heart was 'overcirculated' and he was in congestive heart failure in the Fall of 2010. His organs were filling with fluid. He was gray and lethargic. Then, an amazing cardiologist inserted a tiny coil into the ductus arteriosus. Tissue formed around the coil and blocked that unusual pathway. Today, Matthew's heart is strong!
We usually celebrate Matthew's heart day on October 7th, the day his heart was 'fixed'. This year, this graphic caught my eye on Facebook and I didn't want to let the week pass without at least acknowledging this special cause.