In honor of CHD awareness in the month of February, here is my little one at 7 months old, 2 weeks post open heart surgery.

In honor of CHD awareness in the month of February, here is my little one at 7 months old, 2 weeks post open heart surgery.

Hi OP,

Born with TGA, had surgery, scar still visible today. In mid 20's now and very physically active.

Just want you to know that your child has a very bright future ahead. Also very adorable. Congrats!

I don't know how to post, as I rarely do; so I guess i'll just "reply". I also was born with a CHD called Double outlet right ventricle (DORV) and I had a pulmonary artery sling that crushed my trachea. I had it repaired when I was a month old, but then at the end of December I had surgery to repair my trachea again! I just played my first basketball game since the surgery and I am currently running 2 miles or so every other day!

By the time this guy grows up he'll be an olympian

As a nurse working in a pediatric CICU, for 18 years this May, I love seeing this! We see the patients when they're at their sickest but not when they go home. Patients will sometimes visit the CICU when they come in for their cardiac clinic follow-ups but I work nights and miss their visits. This happy healthy baby makes me feel good about what I do because there are some shifts when things are rough.

And I'm especially loving the comments from those of you who had your repairs years ago, and you've gone on to living healthy and happy lives. I've been in this line of nursing long enough to remember when many of these defects could not be repaired and if they could, the life expectancy was short.

Happy CHD Month!

Congenital Heart Defect. Basically anything wrong with the heart at birth, but most commonly ventricular septal defects.

What is CHD? I am unaware.

With regards to your olympian comment: this is quite literally possible and has already happened. Shaun White Olympic gold medalist snowboarder was born with a CHD - Tetralogy of Fallot. Just an interesting piece of trivia.

That's the smile of a champion if I've ever seen one.

Me too! Never talked to anyone else born with it. So, how’s life?

Tip for the child: people will believe any sort of story when they see a scar, so have some fun with it.

Shaun White wears his scar loud and proud, as I hope my daughter will someday. Kids who undergo something so heartbreaking (irony intended) so early in life can definitely use it as a source of strength later in life, whether they become an Olympian or not.

, as I hope my daughter will someday. Kids who undergo something so heartbreaking (irony intended) so early in life can definitely use it as a source of strength later in life, whether they become an Olympian or not.

Such a precious and adorable little sweetheart <3 take care

Here (two months ago) OP explains:

My daughter had open heart surgery to fix a hole in her heard (VSD) at only 7 months old. Up until the day of her surgery, her father and I were emotional wrecks, but we kept that from her. We didn’t cry in front of her but instead we would try to laugh and joke in order for her not to see our worry. Even up to the day that we had to hand her over to the surgeons, we made a clapping song when they carried her away. Once that curtain closed, my husband and I just held each other and cried. She is now 14 months and very healthy!

This post makes me feel selfish.

After surgery (I have not had heart surgery but have had emerg appendectomy and 4 knee procedures requiring general) I now think I shoulda gone back to the hozzy with flowers or a tray of coffee and treats or something to say "thanks for doing such a great job".

The care we get (Canada) is amazing and yes, going back to the hospital to acknowledge caregivers and medical staff should be a thing. I'll be on it next time.

I had a portion of my lung removed when I was a few days old and the scar is now probly 12-14" long along my ribcage. Growing up my favourite response to people when they asked what happened was: "I don't really know but I woke up in the back of a Korean restaurant in a bathtub full of ice." Sometimes people would buy the story enough to ask follow ups like if anything was missing.

I sent this to my Dad, he’s 68 and about to go on the donor list at OHSU. He’s just about ready to give up, doesn’t have enough energy to get out of his chair. 25% function left. I hope it gives him as much hope as it gave me.

What a beautiful smile! I wish you both the best and I hope that little one of yours recovers quickly and fully.

ASD (atrial septal defect) is really common as well.

That's the cutest smile I've seen in awhile.

My oldest son (8 now) was born with a congenital defect that affected his gut, so he has a large scar on his abdomen. Depending who he is talking to, it is the result of either a shark bite, a biking accident, or a birth accident involving an ax.

As a parent of a CHD baby as well, that's one happy looking kid. My monster is now five and you can't tell anything ever happened, except for his "zip line" that he has. We've tried to teach him to be proud of it.

To everyone else, if you're a McDonalds eater and pay with cash, please think about dropping that change in the Ronald McDonald House bin. The majority of their budget comes from things like that and having had to stay there for 10 days, they're doing miracle work for parents that are there much, MUCH longer than we were. It is honestly one of the best charities out there.

Nah, just a writing surface dedicated to the sport he represents. They call it the White Board

"How the fuck was I meant to know? You expect me to tear open a fresh wound and check to make sure all the pink bits are there? Far as I could tell everything was working as it should and I should be glad im not on the menu."

We're not quite there yet with our 6 yr old son. He had his repair at 7 months and if you ask him about his scar he'll tell you that his little sister scratched him there. (In his defense, that girl brings out the claws early in every fight.)

I don’t know you, but this makes me genuinely happy for you.

Just goes to show people aren’t instantly hindered by medical issues. Know a lot of folk who thought this or that would keep them from doing anything with their lives. Also got a buddy who’s got some really fucked up knees that he’s probably gonna need more than one surgery for, but he still plays basketball all summer and is the best player from around here

If you would like to learn more about CHD, visit /sub/chd or consider reading these resources:

If you would like to donate, please go here

With the amazing medicine that we have, we can allow these children to live normal, fulfilling lives. Thank you for the post OP. :)

That’s what I was born with! My parents never did anything about it and half the holes closed on their own. I was always told just to do what I felt like I could handle and not to stress my heart too much.

That's the cutest little badass I've ever seen!

Happy for u!

She is gonna grow up to be one tough cookie

*raises awareness by using abbreviation

He was born with an axe in hand, and immediately went at the doctor.

The doctor, however, use to be a karate instructor and easily deflected it with the umbilical cord, saving him a step, but he forgot about the placenta!

It fell on the floor with a wet plop and a nurse had just took a step forward to help stop the axe wielding baby but slipped on the placenta!

She somehow managed to fall on the axe in a way that turned it around and sliced the baby's soft sternum.

He gave up the axe in return for the nurses name and a promise to keep in 18 years.

Hmmm... birth accident involving an axe... tell us more

The dichotomy of the scar and that smile. Pretty incredible kid you got there.

listen here you little shit...

Our little champ. God bless him

I have a massive scar on my stomach from an emergency appendectomy (I was 7 or 8 at the time), and I can assure you that it becomes a part of you just like the color of your hair. I would not even consider covering it up for a photo.

Don’t fuss over it, accept it as part of your child, and they will accept it as part of their identity.

I had tetralogy of fallot as a child, and also had open heart surgery at 7mos old, and a pulmonary valve replaced at age 12. I am now 31 and have almost zero issues. (Besides not being able to do hard drugs I’m a normal functioning adult haha) seriously though medical breakthroughs are happening every day and it’s a blessing that your baby was born in a time where these issues can be fixed.

I wish you and your precious little one a happy and healthy future!


I thought it was coronary heart disease 😅

turn that frown upside down...

It may be a cultural thing. When I was a baby, this was also fine where I am from.

Thanks for everything you do! I had open-heart surgery over 30 years ago and still remember how kind the nurses were, especially in the ICU post-op. I was 5 at the time and being taken care of by wonderful, friendly nurses made me feel much more relaxed about it all.

Wow! Woke up this morning to see my post on the front page and receiving Reddit gold! (Thank you so much kind stranger!). And thank you everyone for the overwhelming support! Here’s a bit of a backstory, my daughter (no worries to those assuming she’s a boy! :) ) was diagnosed with a VSD (ventricular septal defect-which pretty much means a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart). Her hole was very big, about the size of a quarter. Before her surgery, I was desperate to speak to other parents who have gone through this and also see pictures after an open heart surgery on a baby. But it was hard finding after care pictures, which is the main reason I wanted to share this picture for other parents who are going through what we went through up until her surgery. The cardiologist, surgeon, and nurses were heaven sent and really helped us through the process, as well as a non profit program called mended little hearts. Now, my daughter is 16 months old and an amazing heart warrior. She has become our heart hero and we are so proud to be her parents.

Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) awareness is in the month of February and if you would like more information, please visit mended little hearts

A quick fact: 1 in 100 babies born in the world has some type of CHD.

To all those parents who are expecting their baby/child to undergo open heart surgery (OHS), self care is very important as well as social support. Our babies look to us for support and if we are falling apart, they will enter surgery with so much fear. Be strong for your little ones and take care of yourself too!

Thank you for everything you do. I've had three separate surgeries for my aorta over the course of my life (I'm 19) and without the nurses around to make sure I was taking my meds or even just keeping me company so that I didn't go insane, I'd probably not be here. You guys are arguably one of the, if not the most vital part of a patient's recovery and yet you very rarely get good recognition for what you do.

So thank you. Nurses are awesome. You're awesome. Without you I wouldn't be running 3 miles every other day, rehearsingband performing in theatre, or even just going to school.

Tip for the child: people will believe any sort of story when they see a scar, so have some fun with it.

oh boy I had fun with this one growing up. Back in high school I told a kid I got it from a knife fight - funniest thing ever.

Life's good though. I've only met one other person in real life. But every now and then with posts like these I'll come across quite a few other people on reddit.

I had TGA and as a kid I thought everyone was just born with a scar. Also, I've never even thought of saying it was something else.. Usually the truth is still enough to make people go, "Wow, holy shit" but you've inspired me to make a crazy back story. ;)

I bet the surgeon(s) have shrines to shaun in their office..

It is confusing, because a lot of people use CHD to refer to coronary heart disease. Often, people use CAD (coronary artery disease) to distinguish!

Don’t do hard drugs.

Why pierce the ears so early?

Unbelievably sad .Tell your dad we all support him on his choices and hope him the best!

Wow i can't believe i didn't know this. With ask the press coverage he gets from x games to the Olympics, I've never heard this ever brought up. I'm sure it was covered, and i just missed it. This is a perfect "Olympic background feature" story the network does on certain athletes

Thanks for sharing!

My little boy has ASD and PAPVR, he’s getting open heart surgery next week. It’s very scary. I love seeing and reading these stories of kids that were just fine after. Your son is super cute :)

I work with adults, but feel similarly. We take care of liver transplant patients pre and immediately post-op. By the time they get a transplant, they are so incredibly sick, its hard to imagine their recovery process. They transfer out of the unit to our transplant floor after a few days so we don't usually see much of their recovery. If they are lucky and things go smoothly, we'll never see them again. Winter is especially tough for ICU nurses, in my opinion.. Everyone has the flu and the sepsis, and older folks have a really tough time recovering. It can really mess with your head when you have several deaths in a row. I need to bring my crew some candy tonight.

Father of a CHD kido myself and I agree, the Ronald McDonald House was amazing. Luckily we didn't need to rely on it too much, but the fact that it was there really was nice. I know a lot of family's really depend on it

Fellow PCICU nurse here! Definitely awesome to see the success stories, we don't see nearly enough of them... Its unfortunate, but I feel like we (at my hospital, at least) tend to become much more fixated on the negative outcomes, usually because those tragedies happen within our unit where we are directly involved; the positive outcomes typically evolve at home where we don't hear much about them. This is a great reminder that a difference is being made.

It's never too late to go back and say thank you, or at the very least send them a thank you note sorta thing?

What a wee smiler. All the best for the post-op recovery OP.

Seriously amazes me just how resilient kids are!

CHD is the most common birth-defect in the world! If affects somewhere around 1/100 live births, possibly even more. It’s a pretty big deal!

Beautiful baby!