The Happiest blog is continuing to celebrate American Heart Month throughout the month of February. This week (Feb. 7-14) is the annual Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week, observed to promote awareness and education about congenital heart defect conditions.
We were blown away to hear the story of one amazing CHD survivor and Color Runner Hero… 4-year-old Charles Hopper!
by Faith Hopper
Congenital heart defects range from minor to major — some kids can have a heart defect and it never bothers them or need any treatment. But I want to give you some insight about those who have major defects through the story of my son, Charles.
My twins Philip and Charles were born completely healthy. It wasn’t until their 6-month checkup a doctor heard something that wasn’t quite right with Charles’ heartbeat. We found out he had an extra hole on the top right side that was leaking extra blood into his heart causing it to enlarge. He had to have surgery to repair it before he even turned one. We took him to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for open heart surgery.
As a mom, I felt vulnerable. I wished more than anything that I could have kept him from going through this. After about five hours or so I finally got to see him. When he woke up, all he wanted was mommy and juice. That day he was sitting up on his own and by that night he was able to walk and go to the bathroom.
Even though Charles had just had heart surgery in June, we all did The Color Run in October. I brought both of my three-year-old twins and my four year old to The Color Run in Lexington, KY and they loved it. We will definitely be returning!
Thanks so much for reading my story and wanting to raise awareness for all the little boys and girls. Miracles really do happen — even to the smallest of kids. There are a lot of heart warriors out there going through harder times than my Charles… so please, raise awareness for all of them.
They need a voice… and we are it.
Thank you to Faith Hopper for sharing this story. You and your son Charles are both Color Runner Heroes, Faith!
Throughout the month of February, the Happiest Blog community is celebrating American Heart Month by focusing on making our hearts healthy and happy (both literally and figuratively). Find new heart-healthy recipes, workouts, and inspiration each week.