Heart Disease Affects Children, Too–Walk for Healthy Hearts

Heart Birth Defects Are #1 Birth Defect, but Survivable

Mila Rose on her 1st Birthday!

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the No. 1 killer of all Americans. In fact, someone dies from CVD every 39 seconds. Heart disease also kills more women than all forms of cancer combined. Congenital heart defects are the most common cause of infant death from birth defects. The American Heart Association invites the public to join the October 1st Heart Walk event at Kensico Dam to join the fight against heart disease, fund research, and help save lives. Registration is open online at www.westchesterheartwalk.org.

The Heart Walk is the AHA’s biggest annual event, raising more than $400,000 for AHA programs and research at last year’s event. Funds raised at the Heart Walk will support research to help prevent and treat heart disease, stroke, and pediatric heart disease.

Congenital heart defects, or CHD, affect nearly 1% of―or about 40,000―births per year in the United States. Early detection, advances in science and treatments of congenital heart defects help save lives. The Konow family of Ossining is grateful for early detection and advanced treatments for CHD. Their baby had lifesaving open heart surgery on the day of last year’s Heart Walk. They are sharing their story to raise awareness and will be honored at this year’s event.

Kailey and Ryan Konow showed up for their 20-week prenatal appointment with the anticipation and excitement of any expectant parents. The doctors confirmed they were having a girl—but that she had a rare congenital heart defect. Further tests confirmed her diagnosis: a double outlet right ventricle VSD, or ventricular septal defect (holes in the heart), and pulmonary stenosis, or narrowing of the heart artery. The doctors said she would need open heart surgery–it was just a matter of when.

Because of early detection, the neonatal intensive care unit team was ready and waiting to care for Mila Rose when she was born on August 3, 2016.

“My husband and I got to hold her for only a couple of minutes before she was whisked away to begin her tests,” said Mila Rose’s mother, Kailey, “After five days in intensive care, we took her home to get her strong for her impending surgery.”

After two months, they noticed the soft spot on her head was sunken, and took her to the pediatrician. By the time they arrived, Mila Rose’s eyes, mouth and lips were blue. Her oxygen levels were dangerously low and she was sent to the emergency room. A simple common cold caused her fragile heart to work overtime. Three days later, she was released, but within the week, the same symptoms returned, but worse.

“It was the scariest event yet. Her oxygen levels dipped and they needed to intubate her with a breathing tube and put her in a coma so her heart would stop working so hard,” she said.

Mila Rose had emergency heart surgery to have a shunt placed in her narrowed artery, but the other defect would require additional surgery in the future. Post-surgery, she was kept isolated at home to minimize the risk of illness. On January 6th, she had the surgery for her full heart repair, and went home after 15 days, her heart fully repaired.

“At first, we couldn’t believe this was happening to us. Why did they have to find something? Now we are so grateful for the technology and research that allowed the early detection. We’re so grateful for the doctors who continually focused in on her diagnosis and were always ready for her. She will be closely monitored for her cardiology team for the rest of her life, but her future is bright and our hearts are full,” said Konow.

CHD is the most common heart birth defect but it is survivable—the AHA journal Circulation that estimates about 1 million children and 1.4 million adults in the United States were living with a congenital heart defect (CHD) in 2010. The American Heart Association’s funding for pediatric cardiac research is second only to the federal government. Learn more at www.heart.org. Money raised at events like the Heart Walk help fund research.

The Heart Walk is sponsored by White Plains Hospital, WMC Health/Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, Fujifilm, Dr. Patrick W. Thomas and Mrs. Johanna D. Thomas, New York Presbyterian, Phelps Hospital/Northwell Health, New York Medical College, Stop & Shop, Examiner Media, The Peak, Buzz Creators, News 12 Westchester, and Westchester Magazine.

 

“Men Go Red For Women” Event Supports Women’s Heart Health

The Dutchess-Ulster American Heart Association’s “Men Go Red For Women” event at the Marist Boathouse at on Tuesday, June 6th was a great success! Thank you to everyone who attended and supported Go Red For Women!

Men Go Red For Women is a dynamic, committed group of men who are raising awareness, and funds, to fight heart disease, the number one killer of women and men. They’re standing behind the women they care about —wives, mothers, daughters, sisters and friends —while influencing and inspiring communities to support the life-saving work of the Go Red For Women movement.

The event was co-chaired by Craig Irwin and Joshua Mackey, and sponsored by their companies, Merrill Lynch in Poughkeepsie, and Mackey Butts & Wise LLP in Millbrook.

Heart disease kills more women than all forms of cancer combined. Heart disease causes one in three women’s deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every minute. The AHA states that women are less likely to call 9-1-1 for themselves when experiencing symptoms of a heart attack than they are for someone else. Women comprise only 24 percent of participants in all heart-related studies. An estimated 43 million women in the U.S. are affected by heart disease and ninety percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease. To learn more, visit www.GoRedForWomen.org.

This Men Go Red event featured networking, light fare, beer and wine, provided by Arlington Wines & Liquors, and Half Time in Poughkeepsie. The Men Go Red group will have exclusive events throughout the year and members will receive tickets to the annual Go Red For Women Luncheon set for November 9, 2017 at the Grandview.

For information about joining Men Go Red, please contact Danielle Schuka, Go Red Corporate Events Director at 845-867-5379 or by email at Danielle.schuka@heart.org.

Go Red For Women is sponsored nationally by Macy’s and CVS, and locally by The Heart Center, Vassar Brothers Hospital, Northern Dutchess Hospital, Central Hudson, Gold’s Gym, Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel, The Grandview and Mid-Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union.

West-Fair Go Red For Women Luncheon Fights Heart Disease in Women

Heart disease in women can occur in the young and old, in seemingly healthy women as well as those with risk factors. The Westchester-Fairfield American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women Luncheon on Friday, June 2nd aims to put a face on women’s heart disease by sharing local survivors’ stories, and, here’s a preview–none of the women have their AARP Card yet.

Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year – more than all cancers combined. Almost two-thirds (64%) of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms. Even if you have no symptoms, you may still be at risk for heart disease.

Christine Wayne and Kim Salveggi, heart disease survivors

But the American Heart Association (AHA) is seeking to change that with prevention and awareness through their Go Red For Women Luncheon, set for Friday, June 2nd from 10AM to 2PM, at the Hilton Westchester in Rye. Tickets are available online at http://westfairgoredluncheon.heart.org/.

Two local film students are producing a video to be debuted at the Go Red For Women Luncheon about the survivors, entitled, “Faces of Heart.” Jeanne Ronan and Marie Venezia are both long-time film students of the Jacob Burns Film Center’s adult courses in Pleasantville. Their 2016 Go Red survivor video won a MarCom Award in February.

“It was extremely rewarding to work on a film project that had a specific purpose in this world. It is also a cause that is personally near and dear to both of us. We were grateful for the opportunity to w

ork with such fantastic women – and we would do it again in a heartbeat!” said Ronan.

Kim Salveggi, 43, from Yorktown, and Christine Wayne, 37, of Stamford, CT will be featured in the short film. Salveggi, a married mother of two teenage girls, suffered a coronary artery dissection in March of 2015. She was previously diagnosed with depression and hypochondria when symptoms of extreme exhaustion began in September 2014. When more classic heart attack symptoms of chest, jaw and arm pain set in, she feared that nobody would believe what she knew all along—something was seriously wrong. At the emergency room, doctors believed her, and she survived after a stent was inserted during emergency cardiac catheterization. She recently returned to work.

Christine Wayne survived sudden cardiac arrest in December of 2016. She felt tired all day and while in the shower, she began to cough and was overcome with exhaustion and nausea. She said did not want to call 9-1-1, as is recommended. What if someone saw her? Why incur the cost when someone could just come pick her up? When she began to have trouble breathing, she finally called her mother, who said to call 9-1-1.

Another moment’s delay and she might not have made it. On route in the ambulance, her heart stopped four times. She awoke to people counting and shouting “CLEAR!” At the hospital, two stents were put in, and was released after a week in the hospital. She is now back to her daily routine.

ABC NEWS – Mara Schiavocampo. (ABC/Heidi Gutman) MARA SCIAVOCAMPO

Both are advocates for Go Red For Women’s lifesaving messages to learn about, prevent and know the symptoms of heart attack in women. In the video, Salveggi implores women to second opinion and never stop advocating for your health. Wayne wants women to know the symptoms of heart attack and not be embarrassed to call the ambulance—minutes count.

The Go Red For Women Luncheon includes a morning health and wellness exhibition featuring local health professionals, networking, and a keynote address by Mara Schiavocampo, an ABC News correspondent and author based in New York. Schiavocampo is a two-time Emmy Award-winning journalist, and best-selling author of, “THINspired,” her personal journey of losing 90 pounds after the birth of her daughter.

Lisa LaRocca, News 12 Westchester reporter, will serve as emcee for the event.

Lisa LaRocca, News12 Reporter

An estimated 44 million women in the U.S. are affected by cardiovascular diseases, and 90% of women have one or more risk factors for heart disease or stroke. The good news is 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action. Small, incremental changes to lifestyle can go a long way in preventing these leading killers. Quitting smoking, exercising at least 30 minutes per day, maintaining a healthy weight, and eating more fruits and vegetables can help prevent heart disease and stroke. More information is available at GoRedForWomen.org and at this year’s Go Red For Women luncheon.

Go Red For Women is sponsored Nationally by Macy’s, and locally by Signature Sponsor, Stamford Health. Other sponsors include Greenwich Hospital, Morgan Stanley, New York-Presbyterian, Fuji Film, White Plains Hospital, Buzz Creators, Healthcare News, Professional Women of Westchester, WHUD, Westchester Magazine, and ABC7.

Tickets and event information are online at http://westfairgoredluncheon.heart.org/.

Little Red Hats to Raise Awareness for Congenital Heart Defects

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Baby Eliana at Good Sam Hospital

The American Heart Association (AHA), in connection with The Children’s Heart Foundation, is offering the “Little Hats, Big Hearts” program for the second year in a row locally. Thousands of little red hats are being delivered to 26 regional hospitals in New York and Connecticut during February, American Heart Month, to help raise awareness for congenital heart defects, or CHD, the most common type of birth defect in the country. Every baby born at participating hospitals during February will receive a little red hat, and parents will receive healthy lifestyle educational information.

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Danbury Hospital

The AHA received donations from more than 100 volunteer knitting and crocheting enthusiasts in the community to help raise awareness for CHD during Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) Awareness Week, February 7 – 14. American Heart Month aims to raise awareness of heart disease, the number one killer of American men and women.

Congenital heart defects are structural problems with the heart present at birth. They result when a mishap occurs during heart development soon after conception and often before the mother is aware that she is pregnant. Defects range in severity from simple problems, such as “holes” between chambers of the heart, to very severe malformations, such as complete absence of one or more chambers or valves.

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Phelps Hospital

The AHA put a call out to knitting and crocheting enthusiasts in December, and little red hats came pouring in from all over the region. Approximately 2,500 hats will be distributed. Local yarn shops donated red yarn and Fabricare Cleaners in Norwalk and Red Cap Cleaners in Poughkeepsie donated their services to wash and sanitize the hats.

“We hear these heart-warming stories shared by some of the knitters who were donating hats in memory of a child lost to CHD, or happier, one who lived. The American Heart Association funds pediatric research and we offer healthy lifestyle programs for children in schools throughout the county,” said Carolyn Torella, AHA spokesperson, “We’re so grateful for the community’s generosity and support to help raise awareness for children’s heart health.”

The American Heart Association is committed to raising awareness for CHD, and helping children live stronger lives through education, research and public policies. In fact, the organization’s funding for pediatric cardiac research is second only to the federal government. Thanks to AHA advocacy, laws were passed in CT and NYS to ensure that every baby born receives pulse-oximetry testing, which can help identify heart defects immediately after birth. The AHA also creates guidelines for, and trains parents, caregivers and medical professionals in infant and child CPR.

More information about the Little Hats, Big Heart program is online at www.heart.org/littlehatsbighearts or by contacting the AHA at 845-867-5374. Learn more about congenital heart defects at www.heart.org/CHD. Parents of children with CHD may find support online at the AHA’s new Support Network at http://supportnetwork.heart.org/

Thanks to all our knitting & crocheting volunteers and to all our participating hospitals who give all their hearts to care for newborns! 

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Good Sam Hospital

WPH 2017

White Plains Hospital