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CHD Won’t Get in the Way of a Family’s Dreams for Their Daughter

When Ivy and Joseph first learned something was wrong with their baby’s heart, they were worried about what it could mean for her future. As a sports-loving family, they’d dreamed about their baby girl growing up to be healthy and active.

When Bennett was born, it was confirmed that she had a Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) as well as a small atrial septal defect (ASD). Ben Toole, MD, is Bennett’s pediatric cardiologist, and he reassured her family that her heart defects can be repaired, and she can go on to lead a healthy, active life.

We were emotional about it at first, really shocked and devastated,” Ivy said. “We were happy that it was something that could be fixed, but we worried that she’d be limited on what she could do. Dr. Toole and his staff have been exceptional, answering all our questions and really listening to what we have to say. This should not prevent her from growing and participating in activities, which is great news.”

For other CHD families who are just learning of their child’s heart diagnosis, Ivy recommends joining the Kids at Heart Facebook page, where other CHD parents gather to ask questions and provide support for one another. She also advises families to contact the Children’s financial offices to help prepare for the costs associated with heart surgeries, like the one Bennett will undergo sometime this summer to correct her heart defects.

Having a child with CHD has reshuffled priorities at Ivy and Joseph’s home. Some of the things they took for granted with their firstborn, Weston, 2, they are now learning to see with new eyes. One big change was that Ivy decided to stay home with the children.

“We were both working all the time, and now I stay at home and care for her,” Ivy said. “We both felt that we wanted her to be safe and cared for. It’s a sacrifice, but it gives us so much peace of mind. Having Bennett has made us slow down and brought us back to earth.”

For more information about Sibley Heart Center Cardiology and our pediatric cardiology specialists, click here.


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