CORPUS CHRISTI – On Feb. 8, Driscoll Children’s Hospital will hold a Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) Awareness Celebration for its pediatric cardiology patients and families at the Corpus Christi Science and History Museum that will include games, activities and refreshments.
“We want to recognize the thousands of people born with heart defects, remember loved ones who’ve lost their battle with congenital heart defects and honor the dedicated health professionals who work with them,” said Laura Esparza, LMSW, social worker at Driscoll Children’s Hospital.
Patients like Saleen Salinas, 2, will be at the celebration on Saturday. Saleen was born 6 weeks early with several birth defects, including Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF), a complex congenital heart defect that involves four different heart defects.
“As soon as they cut her umbilical cord she turned blue,” recalled Daniella Bazan, Saleen’s mother. “Two hours later when doctors were able to stabilize her, she was airlifted [from Kingsville] to Driscoll.”
Bazan was able to join her daughter two days later, when at three days old, Saleen had a Blalock–Taussig (BT) shunt placed in her heart. At one and a half years old, she had her first open-heart surgery. Since that first day two years ago, Saleen has been a regular at Driscoll Children’s Hospital seeing 11 different specialists.
Multiple doctor’s appointments, procedures and hospital stays are the reality for many South Texas children like Saleen, and telling her daughter’s story during CHD Week is a way for Bazan to create awareness for the disease.
“Driscoll’s party is a way we can celebrate them–the survivors, the warriors–and it’s a way to remember the angels as well,” Bazan said.
What: Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Celebration
When: 2:00 p.m. Feb. 8th
Where: Corpus Christi Science and History Museum