Friday, November 30, 2012

In Memory of Cora: Newborn Heart Defect Screening Awareness Day

November 30 - Newborn Heart Defect Screening Awareness Day

With the incredible honor of being chosen as part of the Global Team of 200, I have had the privilege of "meeting" other moms and reading their stories. Although I have never talked with Kristine, Cora's story broke my heart when I read it. (Read it here.) It broke for the life taken so soon and it broke for her mom and family. No mom should ever have to lose her child while she holds her so lovingly. Cora's mom is Kristine Brite McCormick. 

Since her sweet, precious baby left this world, Kristine has found ways to raise awareness and keep her daughter's memory alive. Although she was only 5 days young when she left this world, her story will outlive us all. Cora's story and influence is saving lives. 

Cora died from Congenital Heart Defect (CHD). About 1% of babies are born with congenital heart defect (CHD) or malformation. 

Newborn Heart Defect Screening Day is to encourage you to ask your doctor (or your pediatrician) to do a simple, external test of the oxygen level in your newborns capillaries. By doing a simple check of a newborns oxygen reading by pulse oximeter (pulse ox), doctors can detect low oxygen levels which can lead to finding a heart defect in your child. 

Have you ever had your vital signs taken and they place the probe on your finger with the red light? That is the pulse oximeter. It is painless and non-invasive and takes only seconds. A painless test that takes only seconds that could save your baby's life and save you a world of pain. 

Take time to educate yourself and ask your doctor. We plan for months awaiting the arrival of our little bundles of joy, why not ask for this simple test. 

Please note that not all CHD or malformations will can be detected by the pulse ox. This is just a broad over view and should be used to help catch something. If you have a family history of CHD or serious concerns. Please talk in more detail with your doctor. Although some CHD and malformations can be missed, you at least know you did everything you could do to detect it. 

Honor Cora's Memory by pledging to have your newborn screened. I pledge, if we have another child, to have the Newborn Heart Defect Screening performed. 

My thoughts and prayers are with Cora's parents as they celebrate her birthday without her.  

Kristine, what a legacy your angel is leaving behind. All thanks to her amazing mommy, who loved her so much that she doesn't want another mom to feel her pain. As a fellow mom I am inspired by your work and love. 

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