Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day
On behalf of the many residents of Rhode Island whose lives are affected by Congenital Heart Defects (CHDs), Helping Hands, Healing Hearts, a local chapter of Mended Little Hearts, is requesting that the State of Rhode Island to sign into law a perpetual recognition of February 14th as Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day. For many years past, Governor Carcieri, Governor Chafee, and several local Mayors have awarded Proclamations honoring and recognizing February 14th as Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day, a Day of Hearts. We would like to take the next step. As in Massachusetts and recently in New York, we would like the State of Rhode Island to join the movement in making Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day a permanent day of remembrance and recognition. Ranked as the most common birth defect, it is estimated that almost one in one hundred children are born with some type of heart defect. While many of these are repairable or require no surgery, a full half of these children will face one, if not many, surgeries in their lifetime.
February is National Heart Month. Setting aside a day of remembrance and celebration of the great medical advances which keep children alive would honor the unseen battle that children and adults with CHD fight daily. Establishing such a day would help facilitate bringing much needed awareness to the general public regarding CHDs. This would significantly impact families who are currently coping with CHDs as well as those who will be touched by them in the future.