February is all about hearts. For most people, the thought of hearts in February means Valentine’s Day. For me as a heart mummy, it’s all about National Heart Month, and Heart Week which falls between 7th and 14th February. Throughout February, and during Heart Week 2016 especially, I will be sharing posts to help raise awareness of congenital heart defects (CHDs) and provide more information about various groups and charities that help to support heart families. One of these charities is Tiny Tickers, a small charity who work to support heart families and improve detection rates of CHD.
Just under 1% of babies are born with a CHD. Of these, a third are detected during pregnancy and another third detected through newborn checks in hospital. This means that around 1 in 3 babies with a CHD will go home with an undetected and potentially life-threatening heart defect. CHDs are the biggest cause of death from a birth defect and kill twice as many children each year as all childhood cancers combined.
As many of my readers will know, my daughter Jessica’s heart condition was detected at my 20-week scan. Had her condition not been detected then, she almost certainly would not be here today. Little Martha is another heart child who is here today thanks to early detection of her heart condition. You can read more about her story here and follow her continuing journey over at Heart Mammi. It is clear that early detection of CHDs is vital in helping to save the lives of heart babies.
Tiny Tickers provides specialist training to health professionals and sonographers to help improve detection rates of CHDs during antenatal scans. This means that babies can receive treatment as early as possible (Jessica’s first surgery happened whilst she was still in the womb) which increases their chance of survival and long-term quality of life whilst also reducing the risk of side-effects of heart failure, such as brain damage.
Tiny Tickers also helps to promote the Think HEART campaign, helping health professionals and new parents to become aware of the signs that a baby might have an undiagnosed heart defect.
For Heart Week 2016, Tiny Tickers have put together a fundraising pack with everything needed to help them with their fundraising so they can continue to improve detection rates and help support heart families. There are lots of ideas for ways in which you can help raise money – such as Take Tea for Tiny Tickers and the ‘Guess How Many Love Hearts in the Teapot’ game.
I have written this post in response to a request from Tiny Tickers to help raise awareness of their fundraising campaign for Heart Week 2016. This is a cause which is very close to my heart and I have not been compensated in any way for writing and sharing this post. Tiny Tickers is a registered charity (charity no. 1078114)