Thursday, February 14, 2008

7 For 7: Advice for CHD Parents

Happy Heart Day! Valentines is the international day for CHD awareness. Thank you to everyone who has checked into this blog, who has made submissions, and who is out there spreading awareness for our heart children and adult survivors!

This final "7 For 7" entry for this year's blog-a-thon is provided by Christy, mom to Aubrey (who has a healthy heart) and Sydney (who has TA). Thanks, Christy, for sharing your advice!

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IF I was to ever give advice, to family member and/or caregiver of a child with a congenital heart defect, it would be 7 things:

(1) Don’t be afraid to ask for help
(2) Lean on people when they offer. People want to help!
(3) Be your child’s advocate.
(4) Always trusts yourself. You know your loved one more than anyone else.
(5) Cherish every moment and not sweat the small stuff.
(6) However difficult may be, treat your child like a "normal" child. I did not save my child's life, just to keep her from experiencing it.
(7) Find a support group, so you are never alone. I am so lucky to have friends, family, a wonderful community and Mended Little Hearts support group.

Remember how special these children are. They have so much strength. My little Sydney, despite her medical problems, amazes me. She is full of love and life. She always has a smile, no matter what is going on. I thank God for her every day, and despite the fact it is hard being a “heart parent,” there is NEVER a day, or a moment, I would change, if it meant not having Sydney in our lives. She belongs in this world--our little Angel.

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