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Family shares struggles with child's heart defect

February is for hearts; a month dedicated to heart diseases and defects
Posted: 12:49 AM, Feb 05, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-05 08:09:54-05

We all have something that makes our heart sing. For two-year-old Abram Hurst, it’s his love for cars. And it was his mom’s love for awareness that took us to their home.

Twenty weeks into her pregnancy, Kelli Hurst learned her son, Abra, had a rare, congenital heart defect (CHD). In his case, the lower half of his heart is switched. His two major arteries pump blood to his right ventricle, which could cause it to weaken over time.

Last month, Abram traveled to Boston for his first surgery. This marks the beginning of a process Kelli says will help blood flow to both ventricles.

But just looking at him, you’d never know what this two-year-old has been going through. That’s why his mom wants you to know the impact CHD has had on so many people.

1.3 million Americans have CHD. 40,000 are children.

Dr. Eric Eason, a pediatric cardiologist at Lee Health, says CHD is the most common congenital heart defect that babies can have. He says 50% of cases are discovered before the baby is born. The other 50% may be discovered at birth, a few weeks or months later.

Dr. Eason says awareness is important, especially because it showcases how resilient so many children are -- including his patient, Abram.