Healing Little Hearts
This is our beautiful daughter, Jessica Renee, who died during open heart surgery before her second birthday. To honor her and help others, we have established this foundation to support other children and their families dealing with heart defects.
Congenital heart defects (CHDs) affect about 40,000 births per year in the United States. While heart defects are common, advances in medical technology and practice are making it possible for more patients to survive into adulthood, with high quality of life. In addition to the medical expenses, families of children with heart defects face other costs such as lifestyle changes, emotional/physical stress, family uncertainty, and being unable to return to work in order to care for their child. Jessie’s Heart supports these children and their families emotionally, physically and financially.
Jessie’s Heart’s mission is to provide support for children with heart defects that reduces emotional, physical and financial stress for the family.
About Congenital Heart Defects
The heart ailment is a defect or abnormality. A defect results when the heart or blood vessels near the heart don’t develop normally before birth. There are different types of congenital heart defects, treatments and tests that will be reviewed by your healthcare team.
Access the articles below for more information:
- Healthy Heart Function
- Common Types of Heart Defects
- Aortic Valve Stenosis (AVS)
- Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)
- Coarctation of the Aorta (CoA)
- Complete Atrioventricular Canal defect (CAVC)
- d-Transposition of the Great Arteries
- Ebstein’s Anomaly
- Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
- I-Transposition of the Great Arteries
- Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)
- Pulmonary Atresia
- Pulmonary Valve Stenosis
- Single Ventricle Defects
- Tetralogy of Fallot
- Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Connection (TAPVC)
- Tricuspid Atresia
- Truncus Arteriosus
- Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)
To read more about heart disease please visit the American Heart Association
Jessie’s Heart’s use the symbol of the heart and dragonfly.
The heart symbolizes the love, charity, joy and compassion of children with heart defects.
The dragonfly symbolizes adaptability and transformation. Through continuous change comes self-realization and a search for the deeper meaning of life. Children with heart defects are mentally and emotionally mature. They bravely face multiple procedures and surgeries over their lifetime with confidence, ease and grace.
Letters to Sammy
Sammy’s story began before she was born. The doctors noticed a narrowing of the left ventricle of her heart. She was born at 35 weeks, and as she was getting ready to go home for the first time, the echocardiogram showed her heart had become severely enlarged She has left ventricular hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick. Her parents were told Sammy would need a heart transplant. That was the only fix. Miraculously, seven weeks later they got the call. Sammy underwent her first heart transplant before she was 2 months old. Although her life was filled with doctor’s appointments, she was able to experience everything a healthy child does – she walked, talked, went to school, played sports, and had many friends. Then, at the end of her junior year in high school, Sammy’s heart once again gave out. This time, she waited only five days, before she was given the gift of life. Sammy finished high school, enrolled in Community College, and started her first job. She also decided she wanted to share her story and become an active volunteer and spokesperson for the American Heart Association. On February 27, 2016, at the age of 23, Sammy lost her battle with heart disease. We honor and remember Sammy for her infectious spirit, positive attitude, bravery, and advocacy for those battling heart disease.
Founder and Executive Director of Jessie’s Heart
As Jessie’s mom, JC is passionate about bringing hope to the families of children with heart disease through financial assistance and gifts of the heart. Her husband, five grown children and seven grandchildren are all involved in supporting this amazing mission.
Board of Directors