Congenital heart defects, better known as CHDs, are the most common birth defect in the United States. Today’s SquadUP guest blogger, Nicole Mogil, is working hard to support families affected by CHDs in her community. Nicole is mother to Gavin, born with a CHD in 2011, whose struggle serves as the inspiration for Gavin’s Got Heart.
Need an excuse to go out on Saturday? How about supporting families with children affected by congenital heart defects? On May 17th you have the opportunity to do just that by joining us at TJ Finley’s in Bay Shore for our “Hearts on Tap” event. Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defect in the United States, affecting nearly 1 in every 110 babies. Our son, Gavin, is our 1 in 110. Gavin’s diagnosis was determined at our 20 week sonogram as Double Outlet Right Ventricle (DORV) with Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA), coarctation of the aortic arch, and a VSD. He was born at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital and undoubtedly had a challenging road ahead of him. At only six days old, we put Gavin in the hands of Dr. Emile Bacha as he underwent a seven-hour open heart surgery. Complications brought Gavin back to the operating room thirteen days later, to have a permanent pacemaker implanted; complete heart block being a complication of his first surgery. On December 4, 2013, Gavin returned to Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital to have an unexpected third open heart surgery. The lead from his pacemaker to his heart had snapped and the entire device needed to be replaced.
Through his journey, Gavin has shown us what is truly important in life. Gavin is our heart hero… although small in size, he continues to inspire us in a BIG way! We have established a non-profit 501c3 organization called “Gavin’s Got Heart” in an effort to help families with children affected by congenital heart defects. We have sponsored local heart families, supported the Single Ventricle Clinic at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, donated “Smile Sacks” to heart families spending the holidays in the NICU and PICU at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, along with other efforts to spread CHD awareness. You can learn more about our cause at www.gavinsgotheart.org or www.facebook.com/GavinsGotHeart.
We hope you can make it out to our event this Saturday, but we encourage even those that can’t to donate through the SquadUP event page. Every contribution counts!