On the 6th of February Austen Morris’s Managing Senior Partner James Colclough and his wife Coco Wu Colclough along with Marketing Executive Connie Li to visit the second beneficiary of last Novembers Chi Fan for Charity, organised by Austen Morris Associates, who had received a successful heart operation. On behalf of Zhang San (a pseudonym), who is now back home with his mended heart, and his family would like to say thank you to all of our sponsors who took part in Chi Fan for Charity last November.
Zhang San, now 6 years old, had never had a checkup before November 2013 at which time he was diagnosed with CHD (Congenital Heart Disease). In Dec 2014 doctors in Zao Zhuang advised him to have surgery, but the family couldn’t afford it so they took him home. With both Grandparents requiring medical attention his impoverished family were unable to pay for his surgery. His grandmother suffers from severe arthritis while his grandfather has a chronic cardiovascular disease meaning that his parents have to look after them as well as his 5 other siblings (4 sisters and one brother). The family are farmers with no opportunities for income. All his siblings are in school and their school fees are the largest cost for the family. After he was diagnosed with CHD, the family have been borrowing money from everywhere to pay for his expensive medicine and are now subsequently RMB 20,000 in debt.
Congenital Heart Disease is a category of heart disease that includes abnormalities in cardiovascular structures that occur before birth. These defects occur while the fetus is developing in the uterus and may affect approximately 1 in 100 children. Congenital heart defects may produce symptoms at birth, during childhood, or not until adulthood. Other congenital defects may cause no symptoms. About 500,000 adults in the U.S. have congenital heart disease.
What Causes Congenital Heart Disease?
In the majority of people, the cause of congenital heart disease is unknown. However, there are some factors that are associated with an increased chance of having congenital heart disease. These risk factors include:
Genetic or chromosomal abnormalities in the child, such as Down syndrome
Taking certain medications or alcohol or drug abuse during pregnancy
Maternal viral infection, such as rubella (German measles) in the first trimester of pregnancy
The risk of having a child with congenital heart disease may double if a parent or a sibling has a congenital heart defect.
What Types of Congenital Heart Problems Are There? The most common congenital heart problems include:
Heart valve defects. These can result in a narrowing or stenosis of the valves, or a complete closure that impedes or obstructs forward blood flow. Other valve defects include leaky valves that don’t close properly, thereby allowing blood to leak backwards.
Defects in the walls between the atria and ventricles of the heart (atrial and ventricular septal defects ). Holes or passageways between the heart’s different chambers may allow abnormal mixing of oxygenated and unoxygenated blood between the right and left sides of the heart. Heart muscle abnormalities that can lead to heart failure.