Thursday, January 30, 2014

Chili's Gives Back

Chili's in Round Rock (near the outlet mall) and Temple, Texas will have a Give Back Night for the Children's Heart Foundation on Tuesday, February 4, 2014. What a great way to start off Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Month!

You must have the flyer with you and give it to your server. You can print it straight from your computer here OR if you send me an email at I can send you a PDF of the flyer.

Notice the time! The Giving Back program begins in time for lunch! From 10:45 a.m. to 11 p.m. Chili's will be giving back by giving the Children's Heart Foundation 15% of the event day sales.

What is The Children's Heart Foundation?  The Children’s Heart Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization that does not receive any government funding. The goal of the foundation is to fund the most promising research to advance the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of congenital heart defects in children. It was founded in 1996 by Betsy Peterson, who recognized the need for an organization whose sole purpose is to fund this type of research after her 8-year-old son, Sam, died from multiple organ failure brought upon by a sudden heart related collapse.

I believe in The Children's Heart Foundation's mission. I am The Children's Heart Foundation Texas Chapter Vice President. I'll be eating at Chili's on February 4, 2014 -- perhaps for lunch and dinner! Will you join me?

Please visit Baby Hearts Press at for resources for the congenital heart defect community.

Monday, January 20, 2014

What's New For Baby Hearts Press in 2014?

Dear Heart Friends:

We are well into January already and 2014 has been a very busy year indeed! What's new for Baby Hearts Press in 2014? So many things!

First of all -- please take a look at our totally revamped and refreshed website! Baby Hearts Press Heart Mom and "Heart to Heart with Anna" Guest, Callie Rickard has become Baby Hearts Press' newest Webmaster and Graphic Designer. It is with a heavy heart that we said "good-bye" to Sue Dove. Sue was our webmaster for over 15 years! Now with both children grown and out of the house, Sue is off on new adventures!

Callie isn't only our webmaster! Callie has set up a CafePress Boutique for "Heart to Heart with Anna" which has so many fun items! You'll want to check it out for fun Congenital Heart Defect Awareness items. The more we can get people to talk about congenital heart defects, the more likely we are to raise awareness and possibly save a life!  Heart to Heart Boutique

And Callie hasn't stopped there, either! Callie is also the Editor of the Heart to Heart with Anna Newsletter! Click the link to read the January Newsletter. If you go to the Heart to Heart with Anna website, you can also read the December Newsletter.

But we not stopping there! If a new website is good, and a CafePress makes everything even better then how about a YouTube presence, too! Wouldn't that be BEST?!  Yes! Now Baby Hearts Press has its own YouTube channel and we currently have TWO Book Trailers on You tube.

The first book trailer was produced by Esther Johnson and Joey Jaworski and is available here:  My Brother Needs an Operation but just today, January 20, 2014, Heart Mom and The Heart of a Mother contributor, Brenda Vignaroli, has created a book trailer for The Heart of a Mother, too.

Of course, perhaps the biggest news is that the pilot season of "Heart to Heart with Anna" is about to come to a close. This radio show especially for the Congenital Heart Defect Community has been a lot of fun to put together. We've covered a wide range of topics (from discovering that we are not alone to talking about the genetics involved in congenital heart defects to organ donation and transplantation to surviving the teen years with a complex CHD and had Guests who are parents, grandparents, siblings, doctors, nurses and a State Senator on the show. The next season should be even better! Please consider patronizing Baby Hearts Press so we can continue to fund this remarkable, one-of-a-kind radio show.

We hope you're enjoying all of the shows. Now you can join in the discussion by taking part in our open forum. Heart to Heart with Anna has a Forum under the Heart to Heart with Anna tab. Go there to leave your comments or questions regarding the shows you've heard.

We have other plans in store for Baby Hearts Press for 2014. Check back with us regularly to see what's new in 2014 for Baby Hearts Press!

Please visit Baby Hearts Press at for resources for the congenital heart defect community.

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Evolution of Pacemakers

For over 100 years doctors have been conducting experiments using electricity to stimulate the heart, with various levels of "success." The first pacemaker was implanted in a human in 1958 and although the recipient had to have it replaced many times over the course of his life, the recipient, Arne Larsson (viewed above), outlived both the inventor of the device and the surgeon who implanted the device(s) in his heart!

As many people know, the first company to make an implantable pacemaker was Medtronics. Initially the device was rather large (see photo of the implantable device above in Arne's hand) and it included wires (leads) plus a box that contained controls for the device. I am amazed by the history of the artificial pacemaker and the fact that Medtronics has not rested on its laurels. Constantly revising and improving their devices, they have now come up with something so remarkable, it seems like science fiction!

What is science fact, though, is that Medtronics has recently unveiled the world's smallest pacemaker yet! At one-tenth the size of a regular pacemaker, this device is tiny but its size is not the only feature that sets this pacemaker apart from the pacemakers of yesteryear. What makes this device so unique is that it doesn't require any wires (or leads)! This means there is one less potential complication for pacemaker recipients to have to worry about! The device is introduced directly into the heart via a catheter inserted through the femoral artery, which should reduce the opportunity for infections and result in a shorter, less complicated hospital stay.

This device is known as the Micra and in the photo above, you can see what it would look like inside a human heart. This is totally amazing! It is currently being tested in Austria.

For more information, read Medtronic's press release: Medtronic's Smallest Pacemaker

Please visit Baby Hearts Press at for resources for the congenital heart defect community.