Hendersonville recognizes families with congenital heart defects


Hendersonville Mayor Jamie Clary recently declared February 7-14, 2021 Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week at City Hall.

Resident Misty Dantico and her 11-year-old son Joey Dantico were in attendance at the signing event after working with Clary to sign the proclamation.

“I contacted Mayor Clary when Conquering CHD posted an article about getting every county in the state (to sign a proclamation designating the second week of February as CHD Awareness Week),” Dantico said. .

Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week: Cheatham County recognizes child with heart murmur

“We were unfortunately unable to arrange a signing due to COVID, but the mayor invited me and another family to town hall to receive the proclamation and take pictures. “

Born at 35 weeks with tetralogy of Fallot, a birth defect that affects normal blood flow in the heart, Joey weighed 3 pounds and 7 ounces.

Tetralogy of Fallot reduces the oxygen in the blood that circulates throughout the body, causing infants to develop a bluish-looking skin color called cyanosis. Although an infant’s skin may not appear bluish at birth, it can develop later in sudden episodes called tet spells when crying or feeding, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Comprised of four heart defects, including pulmonary stenosis, ventricular hypertrophy, and interventricular communication, Tetralogy of Fallot is considered a critical congenital heart defect due to the need for the baby to undergo surgery or other procedures shortly. after birth.

Misty and Joey stayed in the hospital for several weeks as he continued to grow.

At 12 weeks, Joey underwent open heart surgery to widen the blood vessels in his heart and widen the passage from the right ventricle to the pulmonary artery after his oxygen levels began to drop.

A patch was used to cover a hole in the septum and close its ventricular septal defect, preventing oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor blood from mixing between the ventricles.

“A small hole was left to grow with him in the hope that it would close on its own as he grew older, but it didn’t and he had to undergo VSD transcatheter repair,” he said. she declared.

During his VSD transcatheter repair, Joey’s cardiologist threaded a tube through a blood vessel in his groin and into his heart, next to the wall between the ventricles, and pulled out a small device to plug the hole in the wall. .

Joey was in the hospital for over a month for his open heart surgery and overnight cardiac catheterization.

“His surgery was a success and he grew into a happy and energetic little boy,” she said.

Two years ago, in the summer of 2019, Joey had to return to the cath lab for surgery to fix a leaky heart valve.

“And since then he’s caught up with most kids his age in size and energy,” she said.

Now Joey returns to his cardiologist every year for check-ups.

Having learned of the existence of coronary artery disease a few years ago through a Facebook group called Nashville Area Heart Parents, Misty was thrilled to include Hendersonville on the list of counties and cities in Tennessee that recognize Mother’s Week. awareness of congenital heart defects.

“This is my first time doing this so getting Hendersonville was awesome,” she said. “We have always supported several CHD organizations during the year, and we will continue to do so. “

Officials at Conquering CHD Tennessee work tirelessly to raise awareness about the most common birth defect in America.

Congenital heart defects are the most common types of birth defects with coronary heart disease affecting nearly 1% or about 40,000 births per year in the United States, reports the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

And according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, coronary heart disease occurs in nearly one in every 100 births, which means that in Tennessee, there are an average of 763 babies born with a heart defect each year.

For more information on Conquering CHD Tennessee, visit their website.

Katie Nixon can be reached at [email protected] or (615) 517-1285.


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