On Monday, Jan. 28, the Mankato City Council declared that the week of Feb. 7 to Feb. 14, as “Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week”. The measure passed unanimously in one motion along with a list of other resolutions.
Congenital heart defects are, as the name suggests, are defects of the heart that occurs when the heart or blood vessels near the heart are not properly formed and developed while in the womb.
There a more than a dozen different forms of heart defects that range in severity, but all have a life changing effect on a newborn’s life that stays with them for their lives.
The American Heart Association reports that eight out of 1,000 births will have some form of Congenital heart defect. There is no definitive cause for CHD, but many health officials point to genetic history.
The Mankato City Council proclaims CHD Awareness Week as a week “designed to inspire compassion, encourage research and raise awareness so people can get necessary treatments to help people thrive in their communities.”
The campaign to create the proposal was spearheaded by Lasting Imprint, which spoke in front of the City Council in support of the measure. The director for the non-profit organization, Kristen Thomas, stated it was her daughter who has CHD as the reason for her advocacy.
During the City Council meeting, the members of Lasting Imprint supported an external defibrillator that would be placed in the soon to be open Spring Lake Park warming house.
The CDC states that 97 percent of newborns with non-severe CHD live survive the first year of their life with 95 percent expected to live into adulthood.