Thank you for visiting Theo’s Bravehearts fundraising page! We are so unbelievable grateful for everyone who has taken the time to learn about our story and the amazing efforts of this organization and event that is so dear to our hearts.
Theo, our heart warrior, was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) in utero at about 22 weeks after a fetal echocardiogram. We learned then, that he would need open heart surgery shorty after birth, around 3 months old. At the time, we knew nothing about TOF and knew very little about congenital heart defects. We soon were thrown into this world and became ‘heart parents’.
Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) is a congenital heart defect with four characteristics: a Ventricular Septal Defect (a hole between the two bottom chambers of the heart (ventricles) that sends blood to the body and lungs), an Overriding Aorta (the aorta, the large artery that takes blood to the body is on top of both ventricles, instead of just the left ventricle as in a normal heart), Pulmonary Stenosis (a narrowing of the pulmonary valve, which carries blood from the heart to the lungs), and Hypertrophy (the right ventricle becomes thicker and more muscular than normal as a result of working harder to pump blood through the narrow pulmonary valve).
When Theo was 3 months old he underwent his first open heart surgery at CHOP on October 18, 2016 to temporarily repair his pulmonary valve to allow for adequate blood flow to the lungs and body. His surgery was successful and we were able to take him home after a week of recovery in the Cardiac ICU.
Today, Theo is an active 6 year old boy who loves to play sports, laugh, and have fun with family and friends. He is monitored and undergoes testing annually with his cardiologist. We know he will eventually need another surgery to replace his pulmonary valve. For now, we love watching him live such a full life with little to no limitations, always grateful.
With the medical research, advancements, and technology that is available today we were lucky enough to receive knowledge of Theo’s diagnosis early enough to plan for proper care and intervention for him. This is why this organization and event is so important to us.
Congenital heart defects (CHDs) are the most common birth defect in the United States. Continued research is needed to advance the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of CHDs to reduce their incidence, improve the lives of those born with them and eventually eradicate CHDS altogether. Our mission is to advance the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of Congenital Heart Defects by funding the most promising research.
Thank you again for visiting and learning about our story. We couldn’t be more grateful for every one that has supported us, cared for our children, and for this cause that is so significant to our family. We thank you all.
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