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Stacy Erickson, Fargo, Published February 05 2013

Letter: CHD awareness very important

The week of Feb. 7-14 is Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week. What many people do not realize is that nearly 1 in every 100 babies in the United States alone is born with a congenital heart defect, making CHDs the No. 1 birth defect in newborns.

My son was born with a CHD called Tetralogy of Fallot and had to undergo open heart surgery at Mayo hospital at 2 months old. We have been so fortunate to receive his pre- and post-operative care here at Sanford in Fargo. Benny is now a happy, healthy, thriving 1-year-old.

Although we do have an amazing success story to tell, many others do not share the same experience. Many states (Minnesota has been very active on this issue) are now pushing for mandatory screening in utero to help prepare for heart defects. I hope you realize just how widespread of an issue CHDs are and consider helping raise awareness by dedicating some space during CHD Awareness Week. I would sincerely appreciate it.