Imagine being told that your child is in advanced heart failure and their only chance for survival is to receive a heart transplant.
Each year in the United States alone, over 40,000 babies are born with Congenital Heart Disease (CHD). It continues to be the number one birth defect. What many people may not realize is that CHD claims more children’s lives each year than any other childhood illness. Many parents WILL be told that their child is in advanced heart failure, and that their ONLY chance for survival is to undergo a pediatric heart transplant. For these families, it is the beginning of a long journey.
The emotional and financial hardships that come with this journey are devastating and often unbearable. Statistically, once a child is listed on the National Transplant List, the average wait to receive a donor heart is 4 months. It is not unusual for a child to wait significantly longer than that. In the case of Miss Ireland Larson, her wait was nearly 7 months. In addition, these “heart warriors” have likely spent a large portion of their lives prior to being listed, in and out of hospitals enduring operations and medical procedures in an attempt to fix or preserve their original heart. Families who go through this typically have at least one parent who needs to leave their job or take a significant leave of absence from their job in order to take care of their critically sick child.
These families face years of a financial burden that most can’t even begin to imagine. Tremendous medical bills aside, simple day to day living expenses such as rent/mortgage, utilities, and transportation become extremely difficult to pay with reduced income. This is why Ireland’s Hope was founded.
Ireland’s Hope is committed to making a difference in the lives of these families and providing HOPE during their darkest time.
On average each year, in Region 7 alone (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, North Dakota and South Dakota), dozens of children are listed as 1A (in critical need of a transplant).