February, known as “Heart Month,” is special to me for a number or reasons. It’s a month for expanding our awareness and understanding of heart disease and proclaiming our love for those close to us. Smack in the middle of the month is Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Week.
Congenital heart disease affects 1 in 100 babies. But a lot has changed over the years. When I was born, my mother was told I would never survive. Doctors could not even diagnose what I had because the diagnostic tools were so limited. Fortunately, I was eventually diagnosed with Ebstein’s anomaly when I was a teen and started getting the care I needed.
During this month, I think of all the little heart warriors who did not survive. I also think of all our angel babies this month. We hold a special place in our hearts for them. Our hearts may be broken, but we survive. We can remember those lost this month and honor them by living a meaningful and full life. We may not be able to heal our hearts but we can mend them by living a life of purpose.
Deborah experienced the loss of her grandson, Liam, in January of 2019. She has two grown children, both adopted, and two grandchildren. Deborah lives with her husband, Keith, and dog, Kovu. Now that she is retired Deborah volunteers with several heart-health focused organizations. She is the author of the book “A Journey of the Heart: Learning to Thrive, Not Just Survive, With Congenital Heart