Little Hats, Big Hearts

Today is the first day of February which is also the start of the American Heart Association’s ‘Little Hats, Big Hearts’ campaign. This campaign helps raise awareness for congenital heart defects which are the number one birth defects in the world.

It’s a magical thing when life is brought into the world. New father Kaleb Bartron said, “She’s a little gift from God. She’s an angel. I love her. She’s my little mini me.”

Little baby girl Eliyas was born Thursday evening with the family saying she’s a spitting image of her dad. She was one of the first babies to receive the gift of a little red knitted hat at Ocean Springs Hospital. These hats are part of the ‘Little Hats, Big Hearts’ campaign from the American Heart Association. This tiny pop of red help to raise awareness for congenital heart defects in babies. Nurse Susan Carbajal said, “So, people just need to be aware that babies can be affected with heart disease or heart defects that they are born with and some babies require surgery, some require monitoring.”

Congenital heart defects are more common than you would think. Every year 18 in every 10,000 babies are born with one.

The little hats are made and donated by people all over America. When the mother receives them, it’s a welcoming gift, but it’s also a chance for them to learn about the meaning behind it. “Well, most are just excited that they are getting a nice little crochet hat for the babies, but we do talk to them about congenital heart defects and what we’re screening for and that this campaign is to kind of help bring awareness for that,” said Carbajal.

All newborns are screened for any signs of a heart defect before they go home. All of the babies born so far this month at Ocean Springs Hospital have tested one hundred percent on the screenings, but early detection is key. Administrator Heath Thompson said, “With the early identification there is so much that we can do to where you can live a perfectly normal life.”

With these little hats, these new parents know how lucky they are to have happy, heart healthy babies. “Some people aren’t as lucky as we were. I’m thankful to God for that.”

Categories: Featured, Health, Jackson County, Local News, News

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