American Heart Association

Environmental toxins linked to heart defects

Children’s congenital heart defects may be associated with their mothers’ exposure to specific mixtures of environmental toxins during pregnancy, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2013.
Congenital heart defects occur when the heart or blood vessels near the heart don’t develop normally before birth. Defects may […]

STORIES FROM THE HEART: While boy awaits transplant to beat incredibly rare condition, family accepts ‘new normal’

Rylan Karrer has to sit on the sidelines. He doesn’t have the energy to run, jump and play like other 10-year-old kids.

His heart can’t handle it.

Rylan is dealing with a one-in-a-million condition that prevents the chambers of his heart from filling with blood. The only solution is finding him […]

New research offers a formula to determine ‘normal’ heart size

New research has re-evaluated the “normal’ size of the heart, determining that standard measurements for heart size are outdated and don’t account for gender, age and body size.

Adjustments in the measurements are important because women and people of small build are at risk for delayed treatments since their enlarged […]

STORIES FROM THE HEART: NFL PLAY 60 ‘Super Kid’ inspires others fighting heart defects

Before the most recent Super Bowl, 10-year-old Hunter Paulin kicked off the biggest event on America’s sports calendar by running to midfield at the Superdome and handing the official game ball to the referee.

The scene brought tears to the eyes of Hunter’s mother, Wendy, who’d often wondered if Hunter’s […]

STORIES FROM THE HEART: It can be tough being a kid with a heart problem; author helps ease pain he felt with book aimed at others going through it

Samuel Ward III wants kids with heart conditions to know they’re not alone.

He knows how they feel because he was once one of them.

The author – who goes by Len, and by the pen name Len N. Wallace – was born with a hole between the walls of his heart.

Shortly […]

SimpleScience@Heart: The couch is no place for people with heart defects

If you or your child were born with a heart defect, don’t skip out on physical activities.

While some irregular heartbeat conditions may limit what you can do, most people with heart defects can do just about any physical activity. Just be sure to talk to your doctor about what […]

Blake’s Story – What Heart Condition?

Blake is now almost two years post-surgery.  He is about to turn five, and is healthier than he’s ever been.  We always said that if we were going to subject Blake to this series of traumatic surgeries that we were going to allow him to have the most normal […]

Blake’s Story – A Long Journey

In April 2011, we went to TCH in Houston to get Blake’s heart catheterized. Blake didn’t have any issues with this catheterization, and we were released as an outpatient the same day with a plan for his third (and last planned) surgery for June.  The next surgery, the Fontan, […]

Blake’s Story – A Break

The next two years was relatively uneventful for Blake’s heart.  We had the opportunity to live like a normal family with fun and adventures.  Looking back, I feel like we tried to cram everything awesome into every minute (and if I’m being honest with myself I still do that).  […]

Blake’s Story – Altered Reality

After we returned home we had to figure out what our new normal was.  We had a healthy, active two-year-old, and a delicate heart baby.
We knew immediately that we wanted to give Blake as ‘normal’ of a life as possible, but we also didn’t want to be careless or […]