I’ve shared before how I had never heard the phrase “congenital heart disease” until after my daughter was dead. I was thrown in the CHD world, and was floored to learn that heart defects were the most common birth defect and occurred in 1 in 100 babies. I was absolutely shocked to learn CHD was one of the top killers of infants, killing more babies than SIDS or anything else I’d read about besides prematurity. I quickly struck up friendships with other CHD families and watched their journeys in amazement.
If I thought I was shocked after learning the plight of CHD families here, when I realized the fate of children with heart defects globally, I was beyond words.
I felt especially drawn to the children in Iraq with heart defects. While probably not the main cause of increased heart defects, in areas like Fallujah, Iraq, some reports say as many as 1 in 10 children are born with heart defects. The babies with severe heart defects like Cora? Don’t even have a chance, yet.
I learned about the heart kids in Iraq through an amazing organization, the Preemptive Love Coalition. Ever since, I’ve tried to help. I donated my $5000 prize from the Babble Mothers Changing the World contest to PLC and have donated more funds from different fundraisers.
The men and women behind the organization are heroes in my book.
So when as part of my work for the Global Team of 200 I learned about the REAL Awards, my thoughts immediately went to the health heroes working in Iraq. I’ve never met him, but I nominated Dr. William Novick for a REAL award.
Dr. Novick saving the life of a child in Iraq. Photo by the Preemptive Love Coalition.
He leads another awesome organization helping heart kids internationally, the International Children’s Heart Foundation. ICHF partners up with PLC to provide the medical teams for many of their remedy missions. Dr. Novick himself has been on many of these remedy missions, changing the lives of heart kids in Iraq who have no options for survival outside of the Preemptive Love Coalition and ICHF.
Do you know a health worker making a difference like Dr. Novick? Nominate him or her for a REAL Award through November 29.
About the Real Awards, from their press release:
“It is estimated that every 3 seconds, a child’s death is prevented thanks to care provided by a frontline health worker. But many don’t have all the support and supplies that they need to do their jobs well, and hundreds of thousands more are needed to end preventable deaths and to tackle the challenges of chronic diseases that need to be managed regularly.”