February is heart month, and this is also Congenital Heart Defect Awareness week. Members of the American Heart Association and Wells Fargo made a special delivery to babies at MUSC and other local hospitals to spread awareness.
AHA launched their Little Hats Big Hearts campaign. Volunteers from across the country knitted or crocheted red baby hats to distribute to participating hospitals for babies. The goal is to raise awareness of CHD, the most common type of birth defect in the country, and heart disease, the number one killer of Americans. Wells Fargo’s Kate Caperton and Dita Brown serve as this year’s co-chair’s for Go Red for Women. “We’re going to seven local hospitals, and we dropped off forty or fifty here, and their hand knitted from across the country, so thousands by the end of it,” says Caperton. Brown says, “I’m passionate about it because my uncle died from a heart attack last year, and I was born with a heart murmur so this is near and dear to my heart and i’m really passionate about the American Heart Association and everything they do to raise awareness.”
The goal is to raise awareness to help children like 18-month-old Hampton McDevitt. He was born with a series of congenital heart defects. Hampton’s mother Jessica McDevitt says, “He was born with what’s called single ventricle heart disease. Basically he was born with only half of a heart, so the treatment for that is to have three open heart surgeries. He’s had three open heart surgeries, and three heart caths. Through organizations like the American Heart Association, the Emerson Rose Heart Foundation and MUSC. Their the ones on the frontline with these kids and families, and really supporting them, so I think for the community to just reach out and support them in turn is huge.”
Little Hats Big Hearts began in Chicago in 2014. The project has grown to include 660 hospitals in forty 40 states, handing out more than 100-thousand hats.