We take the gift of our children’s good health for granted – but in fact a healthy baby is a miracle. There are currently over 5000 young people with Congenital Heart Disease in the South West, of which 600, have complex conditions. These young people are all supported by the Bristol Heart Institute.  They and their families are battling to come to terms and cope with the physical and emotional challenges of life limiting, or terminal heart conditions.

Congenital heart disease (CHD) is a general term for a range of birth defects that affect the normal workings of the heart. Congenital means simply that the condition is present at birth. CHD is one of the most common types of birth defect, affecting up to 9 in every 1,000 babies born in the UK.

Surgery or interventional procedures are usually required if the defect is significant and causing problems. Surgical techniques are now able to often restore most, or all of the heart’s normal function enabling about 85% of children with CHD to survive into adulthood.

Most surgery and interventional procedures are not considered to be a cure. The affected person’s ability to walk or exercise may be limited, which can progress as time passes and may lead to the need for further surgery or intervention. Some people with more complex CHD may not have a normal life span.
Further information about CHD…

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9 April 1991 - 25 June 2013
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