Mended Little Hearts of Coastal Virginia is a support group based at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters (CHKD) for families impacted by Congenital Hearts Defects (CHDs). We assist and support families in the Coastal Virginia area and the surrounding communities.
WHAT WE DO
Education – Speakers are invited to our meetings to discuss topics relevant to the CHD community. We also provide educational materials for home use such as handouts, books, and medical record forms.
Advocacy – We work closely with the American Heart Association, the Adult Congenital Heart Association, and the National Congenital Heart Coalition to help develop better programs and research for the CHD community.
Awareness – CHD is an unknown epidemic, therefore, we take every opportunity to spread awareness. We participate in health fairs, trade shows, blood drives and and distribute brochures with facts and statistics at each event. We also partner with many local hospitals and cardiologists that distribute our materials.
Outreach – Our outreach program involves care bag distribution during hospitalization in-person and online visits, parent matching and family fun activities.
Visiting Program – Our program is in accordance with HIPPA and is a standardized MLH nationwide program. We also ensure that we follow additional hospital guidelines, if applicable.
What is a Congenital Heart Defect (CHD)?
A CHD means a child is born with an abnormally structured heart and/or large vessels. Such hearts may have incomplete or missing parts, may be put together the wrong way, may have holes between chamber partitions or may have narrow or leaky valves or narrow vessels.
There are many types of congenital heart defects, ranging from those that pose relatively small threat to the health of the child to those that require immediate surgery.
Some CHDs can be detected pre-birth by a Level II ultrasound or by a fetal echocardiogram. After birth, congenital heart disease is often first detected when the doctor hears an abnormal heart sound or heart murmur when listening to the heart. Depending on the type of murmur, he or she may order further testing such as – Echocardiogram, Cardiac catheterization, Chest X-Ray, Electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or other diagnostic testing.
The warning signs of Congenital Heart Disease in infants and children may include a heart murmur or abnormal heart sound, cyanosis (a bluish tint to the skin, fingernails and/or lips), fast breathing, poor feeding, poor weight gain, an inability to exercise and excessive sweating.