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Group helps families affected by congenital heart defects

Posted at 9:15 PM, Feb 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-22 22:15:04-05

WACO, tx — A newly formed Waco group is helping families whose children have or had congenital heart defects.

The group started last fall is called Mended Little Hearts of Waco.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, CHDs are present at birth and can affect the structure of the baby's heart and its functions.

Roxy Joiner found out her son, Dorian Young, had CHDs before he was born.

“The thought of your child having open heart surgery before they are a week old is pretty terrifying," Joiner said.

According to the CDC some of the symptoms of CHD include, blue-tinted nails or lips, fast or troubled breathing and sleepiness.

Dorian who had five heart surgeries before he was four months old experienced some of them.

“He breathed faster. He tired out a lot quicker than a healthy child his age would have," Joiner said.

Dorian had eight other surgical procedures due to other health problems.

The now three-year-old has normal heart function now but Joiner admits the journey was not easy.

“It’s isolating to be a parent of a critically needs child and it’s isolating for the children as well," Joiner said.

She and other families created the group in September to help others in the same situation.

“Mended little hearts is a way for all of us to get together. We have all have one common goal is to see our children survive," Joiner said.

Dorian will have to visit cardiologists for the rest of his life but Joiner is hopeful for the future.

“I want him to one day to be able to go to school. I want him to grow with a feeding. I want him to have a normal childhood and not worry about his health," Joiner said.

The CDC states some affected infants and children might need one or more surgeries to repair the heart and blood vessels. In addition, even if the heart defect has been repaired, many people with CHD are not cured.

The group is for families whose children were recently diagnosed with CHD, if they are already receiving treatment or if they died because of it, you are encouraged to join the Waco group.