Jamie can be described best with three words: Brave • Smart • Kind. Jamie was diagnosed with congenital heart defects 22 weeks in utero. He was born in March of 2009 and was diagnosed with Pulmonary Atresia with Intact Ventricular Septum, Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome and coronary defects. He has endured three open heart surgeries and several cardiac catharizations. Though his diagnosis was grim, he overcame all odds and is now an active 4-year-old boy. He loves school, his friends, his special heart and Jesus. Though his heart is repaired, he is not “cured.” Jamie will need intervention at some point, but we are blessed for his good health.

This year, Jamie is representing the American Heart Association as the Southern New England Little Heart Hero Ambassador. Together with his family, he is working to motivate others to join the fight against congenital heart defects by raising lifesaving funds for research and awareness. He’s only four and a half, but he knows what it means to be brave, smart and kind. He is an inspiration to us all!

The American Heart Association is committed to helping children live stronger, healthier lives through education, research and public policies. Each year tens of thousands of children are born with congenital heart defects (CHD). This is the most common birth defect in the U.S. and the leading killer of infants with birth defects. The American Heart Association funds research that will help prevent and treat these defects so these children can grow up and enjoy normal, healthy lives. American Heart Association’s funding for pediatric cardiac research is second only to the federal government. During the past year, the American Heart Association spent almost $14.8 million on new research awards broadly related to children’s heart disease. Much of the funds go to basic biomedical research and the outcomes of these studies can ultimately be applied to many types of congenital and acquired heart and blood vessel diseases. To learn more, visit facebook.com/sneheart.

On behalf of all children affected by heart disease, thank you to the American Heart Association and Alex and Ani. Funding to support lifesaving research and education, would not be possible without the contributions from generous supporters like you. Your commitment to volunteering and engaging the community in the fight against heart disease has had a profound impact. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Written by Shannan, Mother of Southern New England American Heart Association’s 2013 Little Heart Hero Ambassador Jamie

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