Feb 23

Barrett’s Story

In recognition of American Heart Month, members from the Speak Now for Kids community will be sharing their personal experiences of being a parent of a child with a congenital heart defect (CHD).

Today, Barrett’s mom, Jessica, will share his story.


When I gave birth to my son, Barrett, I had no idea that anything was out of the ordinary. My pregnancy had been fairly typical with two normal ultrasounds. After a long and exhaustive labor that started with a two-hour car ride to a Duluth hospital from the North Shore of Minnesota and led to an emergency cesarean, Barrett arrived at 2:50 a.m. on July 30th, 2014 — just hours after his due date. He was perfect and finally here. We spent that entire day with a newborn that behaved exactly like newborns do: eating like a champ, getting his first bath from the pretty nurses, meeting new friends and family and filling his diapers.

Feb 22

Aidan’s Story

In recognition of American Heart Month, members from the Speak Now for Kids community will be sharing their personal experiences of being a parent of a child with a congenital heart defect (CHD).

Today, Aidan’s mom, Shannan, will share his story.


 Aidan was born in May of 2008. Although we knew he would come into this world facing almost immediate open heart-surgery, we considered ourselves fortunate  — fortunate in that we knew, in advance, that Aidan would be born with a life-threatening cardiac defect known as hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). In short, Aidan would be born with a half-functioning heart, which, unless repaired through immediate intervention, meant he would not survive.

Feb 20

Tyler’s Story

In recognition of American Heart Month, members from the Speak Now for Kids community will be sharing their personal experiences of being a parent of a child with a congenital heart defect (CHD).

Today, Tyler’s mom, Christina, will share his story.


Our baby boy looked healthy on the 4-D ultrasound that we had done to help ease my mind just months before his birth — this was the last test we would have until we got to meet him. But from the moment of our first ultrasound up until that last one, our days had been filled with worry and many tests — they couldn’t pinpoint what it was that was wrong, even after performing a fetal echo, but something seemed like it was.

Feb 19

Luca's Story

In recognition of American Heart Month, members from the Speak Now for Kids community will be sharing their personal experiences of being a parent of a child with a congenital heart defect (CHD).

Today we’ll hear from Luca’s mom, Julie.


During my pregnancy, we knew nothing of Luca’s heart condition until his due date passed and I went to have my fluid levels checked. 

Feb 18

Elijah’s Story

In recognition of American Heart Month, members from the Speak Now for Kids community will be sharing their personal experiences of being a parent of a child with a congenital heart defect (CHD).

Today, Elijah’s mom, Jenny, will share his story.


When the doctor told me Elijah was almost here and it was time to push, I didn’t expect to have tears of alarm. I should have been overjoyed that I was finally going to meet my firstborn son, but I knew that for Elijah, his exit from the womb would mark the start of a fight for his life. Elijah was diagnosed at his 20- week anatomical scan with a congenital heart condition known as transposition of the great arteries, where his two main arteries out of the heart were switched. Several teams waited for him after he was born to immediately wheel him to his first heart procedure, a balloon septostomy to create a connection to allow oxygenated blood reach his body. Six days later, which we came to call his second birthday, he had his life saving open-heart surgery, in the form of an arterial switch.

Feb 17

Rayna’s Story

In recognition of American Heart Month, members from the Speak Now for Kids community will be sharing their personal experiences of being a parent of a child with a congenital heart defect (CHD).

Today, Rayna’s mom, Sara, will share her story.


Our Journey into the world of CHDs

In the summer of 2006, Tim and I found out that we would be parents to our second child and were beyond thrilled. We went to all our visits, and at each prenatal visit and ultrasound we waited to hear her heartbeat and were so excited to hear what we thought was a healthy heartbeat — little did we know.  

Feb 14

Madeline’s Story

In recognition of American Heart Month, members from the Speak Now for Kids community will be sharing their personal experiences of being a parent of a child with a congenital heart defect (CHD).

Today, Madeline’s father, Tim, will share her story.


When Madeline was born in May of 2005, my wife, Bridgette, and I used to comment on how lucky we were that we had such a healthy baby girl. Many of our friends also had young children and they were constantly going to the doctor for the usual childhood ailments — colds, strep throat, GI issues, etc.  However, Madeline was never sick — the only time we had to take her to the doctor was for the normal early child checkups and shots.  

Feb 13

Megan’s Story

In recognition of American Heart Month, members from the Speak Now for Kids community will be sharing their personal experiences of being a parent of a child with a congenital heart defect (CHD).

Thanks to an alert nurse who noticed her heart murmur while giving her a bath, Megan was diagnosed just hours after she was born.

Today, Megan’s mom, Beth, will share her story.


“We think there is something wrong with your baby’s heart.”

Those are words that we will never forget.  

Feb 10

Hailey and her story

In recognition of American Heart Month, members from the Speak Now for Kids community will be sharing their personal experiences of being a parent of a child with a congenital heart defect (CHD).

Today, we have the opportunity to hear from Hailey, who herself was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect (CHD) just hours after being born. We recently posted her mom Brigette’s story. You can read it here.


My name is Hailey Steimel. I am 20 years old and I was born with a Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) called Transposition of the great vessels. I have two sisters — a twin, Hope, who was born with a hole in her heart, and Hannah.  

Feb 08

Hailey's Story

In recognition of American Heart Month, members from the Speak Now for Kids community will be sharing their personal experiences of being a parent of a child with a congenital heart defect.

Today we’ll hear from Hailey’s mom, Brigette


Sept. 9, 1996, our daughters Hope and Hailey were born at 34 weeks.

Within a few hours doctors told us that Hailey had a congenital heart defect (CHD): Transposition of the great vessels (aorta and pulmonary artery switched).  

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