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Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week education effort underway

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Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week education effort underway

Casey Lynn Bauer was just 3 ½ months old when she had a second surgery at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Stanford for her congenital heart defect.

Photo contributed/


POSTED February 11, 2009 5:05 a.m.
Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week runs through Feb. 14.

As a way of marking the occasion, a coalition of families, individuals, support groups, and health professionals, to name a few, are involved in a campaign to get the word out.

Included are Shannon Bauer and her husband, Bryan, of Escalon.

Their 2-year-old daughter, Casey Lynn Bauer, was born with Ebstein Anomaly, a CHD characterized by displacement of the tricuspid valve.

“She was born with two holes in her heart,” said Bryan Bauer.

Fortunately, Modesto pediatrician, Dr. Millard Johnson of Golden Valley Health Center, was on duty to quickly detect the CHD.

It’s estimated that 40,000 babies each in the US are board with some sort of congenital heart defect.

Throughout this week, the Bauers and others are looking to educate the public about CHD, which, worldwide, is among the leading causes of birth-defect related deaths.

In doing so, they’re hoping this effort will result in additional funding for support and educational services, specifically, in research and improved quality care for both children and adults.

Among the facts include:

• Some CHDs may not require treatment, other than periodic visits to a pediatric cardiologist. Others, as in the case of young Casey Bauer, can be treated with medication or repaired with surgery and/or procedures.

• It may be days, weeks, months or even years before CHD is diagnosed.

• In the cases of Sudden Cardiac Death in young athletes are caused by undiagnosed CHDs and Childhood Onset Heart Disease.

Casey Bauer is administered treatment for her CHD at least five times a day. This also includes a half tablet of aspirin as a blood thinner.

During her first four months of life, she received two surgeries at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Stanford, and will need one more by the time she’s 30 pounds. Casey’s current weight is about 20 pounds, according to her folks.

The family is thankful that Casey’s CHD was detected early.

Early detection is the key.

More information is available by logging on to the Congenital Heart Information Network at tchin.org/aware.

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