February is Congenital Heart Defect Awareness month. One in one-hundred children every single year are born with a Congenital Heart Defect. In fact, it is the most common birth defect, yet it is hardly ever talked about especially here in Ogden. I think that Ogden residents should work to learn more about these diseases and the increased risk that goes along with having a Congenital Heart Defect.

While Congenital Heart Defects affect children worldwide, it affects Ogden personally as well. According to the CDC, people born with CHD’s (Congenital Heart Defects) have special healthcare needs. This is especially important in the time of COVID-19. The Weber-Morgan health department has not yet made the vaccine available for these high-risk people. I was born with a CHD called Tetralogy of Fallot. For me and many others like me, to stay safe from COVID we have had to quit our jobs and continue to quarantine long after most people have returned to a somewhat normal state while abiding by the mask mandates. For those with CHD’s that have been unable to do that, they are at a much higher risk when they must go out for work or errands. Because there is so little awareness surrounding CHD’s, many people do not realize the danger that these people are in when they leave the house. In honor of CHD awareness month, I urge the community of Ogden to research more about the number one birth defect in the world and keep in mind that there are many people out there more severely affected by the pandemic besides older residents.

People with CHD’s look and act just like regular people. They vary in age from older people to brand new infants. Children are born with CHD’s each day. Chances are that you know someone with a CHD. So, take the time to learn a little bit about it. Remember that there are many members of your own community with a CHD that you are actively protecting right now when you wear a mask.

Abby Wardell

Ogden

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