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Congenital Heart Defects Awareness Week

ROCKY POINT -- It's a condition that affects one in 100 babies in this country. This week is Congenital Heart Defects Awareness Week. Rocky Point resident Crystal McGaffic knows what it's like to live with the condition. Her 10-month old daughter Shelby was born with only half a heart, because the left side of her heart never formed correctly. She's already had two surgeries in Chapel Hill and will have what her mother hopes will be her last in September. Crystal is trying to bring support to parents like her with a group she's formed called NC Heart to Heart. McGaffic said, "We wanted to form this group so any parent in North Carolina can get the resources they need for their heart babies." For information on congenital heart defects or on how you can donate money visit:

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I'm glad that Crystal has

I'm glad that Crystal has taken such initiative and started this organization. For anyone who has had a baby diagnosised with a heart defect as a newborn this is a terrify time. Her organization is trying to help these families through this time in their lives. I speak from experience. Seven years ago, my first son was diagnosed at 24 hours old with a heart defect. Once he was known to be stable enough for surgery, we learned his defect was completely uncorrectable. He passed away at nearly 2. I had no resources to turn to. No clue what was going on. Please, if you can help this organization - do. I give her my full support.

More Info on NC Heart to Heart

If you are interested in volunteering your services to NC Heart to Heart or are a local heart family, please email me at We are in need of homeade baby blankets and items for the care packages which will be delivered to new heart families when they enter the Peds ICU at any of the 4 hospitals here in NC that specialize in heart surgeries. I am truely grateful to WWAY for giving me the opportunity to spread CHD awareness and get the word out that there is a support group for heart families in the works. I contacted another TV station and the newspaper and my emails and calls were not returned. Thanks again!

NC Heart 2Heart

Crystal, My mother received an email with your interview and forwarded it to me. My now 18yr. old daughter was diagnosed at birth with a congenital heart defect when she was born at New Hanover Memorial Hospital in Wilmington. She had her 1st surgery at 12 months at Chapel Hill in Aug. of 1990. She did well over the years and then when she was 15 and we were living in Illinois she had to have another open heart surgery. She had to have a pulmonary valve replacement and a left cornary artery repair. She did well and has finished high school. I would really like to talk with you and will do whatever I can do. Please send me an email. Looking forward to hearing from you. Melissa Johnston