Kids Health Matters: Heart defects

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A Bucks County family shares their experience with heart defects, and word of an event to help other little hearts.

A Bucks County family shares their experience with heart defects, and word of an event to help other little hearts.

Max Dobbins loves building Legos with his brothers, and wants to earn a black belt in karate. And is a bundle of energy.

Max's dad, John Dobbins says, "Anyone who were to meet Max on a given day would have no idea of what his experiences were the first two days of life."

Seconds after Max was born, a hospital staffer knew something was wrong.

Juliette, Max's mother said, "The nurse gave us a strange kind of face. The kind of face a mom just knows something isn't right."

His skin was blue. Within hours, Max was at Children's Hospital, where doctors confirmed he had 'transposition of the great arteries.'

The two main blood vessels leading from the heart were switched.

Blood could get oxygen in his lungs, but it wasn't being sent out to Max's body.

His brain and internal organs were starving for oxygen.

Juliette says, "They scheduled him for surgery two days later."

Surgeons switched the arteries to the right locations.

Max came through the operation well, and went home two weeks later.

Today, Max only has what the family calls his "super hero stripe" to recall the operation.

Now Max's family helps other families in the same shoes.

Juliette says, "1 in 100 children will have a heart defect."

Every February, around Max's birthday, they donate a dozens of monkeys - their favorite stuffed toys, to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Cardiac Center.

And Sunday, they'll lead Max RPM - a team of friends and family riding in the Philly Spin-In, which benefits the center.

"The path ahead looks amazing," said Juliette.

Some of the area's best cycling instructors will lead the Spin-In.

Online registration ends today, but you can register at the event or donate to a team or rider.

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Related Topics:
healthKids Health Mattersheart defectsheart disease
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