Congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect, according to the CDC. Here in western North Dakota, a group of mothers is raising money to create care packages to help families during difficult times.
As a first time mom, Mersadie Barth is dealing with the challenges of being a parent. On top of that, her daughter has a congenital heart defect.
“When she was born she had so many tubes and wires connected to her. I wasn’t able to hold her for five days,” said Barth.
The unknowns about this condition are what scares her the most.
But, Barth has an idea about what her daughter is going through.
“They did an echocardiogram on me and found out I had two holes in my heart. I was close to four when we went to Minneapolis ad I had open-heart surgery,” said Barth.
Barth had a high-risk pregnancy. Little did she know while waiting for her daughter to be cleared from the hospital she would come up with an idea to help hundreds dealing with the condition.
“I saw someone from Washington make t-shirts with kid’s names on the back of them and it became popular,” said Barth.
So, Barth teamed up with Kristi’s Heart Hugs to do the same thing, but with names of people who have CHD, and the proceeds will purchase valuable items.
Families dealing with a congenital heart defect will receive a care package with quilts, toys, gift cards and more. These are all items that will come in handy during a difficult time.
“When you’re in the hospital for a couple of months there is nothing better than getting a package in the mail. Whether it is from somebody you know it’s the thought of somebody out there thinking of you. Sometimes it’s not in the package, it’s the thought,’ said Kristi Lafrenz, Owner of Kristi’s Heart Hugs.
It’s a project, Barth and other mothers dealing with children who have a heart defect are proud to be apart of.
“I do not regret anything. I wish I could take back her heart defect. I would do that in a heartbeat,” said Barth.
About 1 in 4 babies born with a heart defect have a Critical Congenital Heart Defect.
To donate for the Heart Warrior and Heart angel care packages, you can visit: https://www.kristishearthugs.org/
To purchase a North Dakota CHD shirt, visit: https://www.bonfire.com/north-dakota-heart-warriors/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=campaign_page&utm_campaign=north-dakota-heart-warriors&utm_content=default