New Orleans Go Red :: Wear Red February 2nd
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the American Heart Association
Welcoming a new baby is supposed to be a magical experience in motherhood. Holding your baby for the first time, watching them opening their eyes, and taking that first nap on your chest are the initial moments that parents treasure forever. But for Northshore mom, Heather Traughber, the few hours after her daughter Aubrey was born were anything but magical.
A Scary Diagnosis
Heather learned that her daughter was born with Tetralogy of Fallot, a common birth defect that features four problems in the heart. At the root of the issue, blood is pumped from a hole in the heart to the body instead of through the lungs.
As doctors explained Aubrey’s diagnosis to Heather her heart was in her stomach. Feelings of guilt, depression and sadness were what consumed her as she thought initially her daughter would not survive. Heather was struggling to determine if she did something in her pregnancy to cause this but that was not the case.
Science and Smiles
Aubrey’s condition was not genetic and it just happened. Through research, the understanding and treatment of congenital heart defects has dramatically improved in recent years. Heather quickly learned that science was on Aubrey’s side. With a surgery behind her and at least one more in her future Aubrey is now a thriving 3-year-old. She is a spunky little girl who is full of energy and love. She puts a smile on everyone’s face.
Aubrey is a survivor but she is not alone. 1 in 100 babies will experience the same journey that Aubrey did. More babies are born with heart defects than any other defect.
Although Aubrey is a survivor, she is traumatized by the experience and is extremely anxious especially at the doctor’s office. As for Heather, this experience is something that haunts her daily. Like any mom Heather is worried about her daughter. Heather worries about Aubrey taking her diagnosis into consideration as she gets older. Aubrey will always have to listen to her body and take her health seriously.
Heather wants her daughter to grow up understanding that her scar does not define her. That scar has changed the course of her life and she should be empowered by that and not ashamed. Aubrey’s prognosis is the result of doctors and researchers working hard to change the effect that congenital heart defects have.
National Wear Red Day
Join Aubrey, Heather and the Traughber family and on National Wear Red Day, Friday, February 2. Wear red to show your support for heart disease. It is the #1 birth defect in babies like Aubrey, it is the #1 killer of women and it is the #1 killer in New Orleans. It takes more lives than all cancers combined. Together we can show our support and take a stand to raise awareness. 80% of heart disease is preventable through diet, exercise and knowing key health numbers.