Family & Friends - I am running the 2020 Chicago Marathon to support the American Heart Association. In doing so, I hope to raise awareness for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. On September 2nd, 2014, my sister gave birth to her 3rd baby boy, Beckett Liam Kidd. Prior to his birth, Beckett had been diagnosed with HLHS. The first few days of his life were full of tests and scans to prepare him and his doctors for the first step in a 3 staged surgical repair of Beckett's unique heart. Beckett had his first open heart surgery at 6 days old, a second at 4 months old, and a third at 3 years old. Now five and a half years, three open heart procedures, 3 heart catheterizations, and countless doctors appointments later Beckett is an amazing little boy (and as you can see in the picture, a very handsome little boy).
About Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). HLHS is severe congenital heart defect in which the left side of the heart is significantly underdeveloped. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has estimated that each year about 960 babies in the United States are born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (about 1 in every 4,344 babies). HLHS accounts for 2 to 3 percent of all congenital heart disease. Without early intervention, HLHS is most often fatal. The two main intervetions include a 3 staged surgical repair or a heart transplant. In the surgical repair, which Beckett had, the surgeon will redirect the blood flow of oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor blood. The outcome is that the right side of the heart will do the job of the left side. It pumps oxygenated blood to the body, and the deoxygenated blood will flow passively from the veins to the lungs without passing through the heart. Children with this circulation are referred to as single ventrical patients. These children require life-long care from a cardialogist to ensure proper physical and neurological development, management of medications, echocardiograms, heart catheterizations, and possibly further surgical intervention. As children with HLHS get older some develop complications resulting in lung, liver and GI diseases. They are also, as a group, at a higher risk for neurodeveolpmental issues.
Beckett is an amazing Heart Warrior, but unfortunately he still has a long road ahead of him. Please join me in raising awareness about HLHS, donating to help fund innovative heart research, and to ensure that Beckett's road ahead is very long! Go Beckett Go!!