Our ACHA bloggers cover many topics relevant to the CHD community. 

When You Meet Another with CHD, Part 1

by Jared Gould on Sunday, Feb 07, 2021

Hi, my name is Jared Gould. Living with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, I enjoy opportunities to share information about my experiences with patients across the country. I started blogging for ACHA in July 2019 and since have met incredible people living with CHD. My blog series Pedaling the Pounds Off ended in early 2020, but I am now partnering with Jennifer Rogers, another ACHA blogger and friend, to write about issues facing CHD patients.

Jennifer was born with tetralogy of Fallot. We met virtually in October 2020 when out of nowhere I received a message from her on Instagram asking if we can connect. During our discussion, we discovered that we shared common views and experiences growing up with a heart condition. We even shared similar views on what it meant to be writing for ACHA and how we both questioned if we were the correct people to be sharing our stories.

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Food For and From the Heart: New Year Comfort Food

by Emily Earhart on Saturday, Jan 23, 2021

Happy New Year! 

Usually, this is the time of year when we’re working on new promises to ourselves—trying to eat less of this and more of that. This year isn’t feeling very typical so far, is it? If you’re like me, you’re finding yourself not necessarily eating loads of green smoothies this year but rather, finding ways to comfort yourself with food in as healthy of a way as possible. Here’s what I’ve found myself making week after week in 2021. In this atypical year, let’s promise to be kind to ourselves and others!

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Finding Hope Within the COVID-19 Vaccination

by Christy Sillman on Thursday, Jan 07, 2021

I received the first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination two days before Christmas 2020, and I underestimated the emotion I would feel while receiving it (I since received my second dose this past Tuesday). As an ACHD nurse practitioner, I’m not directly caring for COVID-19 patients, but I do walk into the hospital every day fully aware that there are many COVID-19 patients on or near the units I round on.

The level of vigilance with PPE shortages and helping my patients and myself stay safe has been exhausting. As an ACHD patient, I know what it is like to be critically ill on a ventilator. I have heightened anxiety about COVID-19, because I know what is at stake. This vaccination feels like a beacon of hope within the darkness that has clouded the past year.

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Five Decades of Gratitude

by Alexis Raymond on Monday, Dec 21, 2020

Somehow, I just turned 50. Growing up with a complex congenital heart defect (CHD), I always entertained an unspoken possibility that I might not make it to the next decade milestone. Now suddenly, I’m getting mail from AARP. I’m far closer to retirement than I am to the open heart surgery that changed my life when I was a teenager.

It seems like a good time to thank the people who helped me make it this far.

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Food For and From the Heart: Emily's Festive Holiday Recipes

by Emily Earhart on Friday, Dec 11, 2020

Happy December!

The holidays aren’t going to look or feel typical this year. But that doesn’t mean holiday cheer has to disappear. With the colder weather and a return to stay-at-home orders in some parts of the country, many of us are hunkering down and staying in more than usual this year. Which I think is the perfect excuse to fire up the stove, try new recipes and comfort yourself with gastronomic delights!

So I’m doing some extra holiday cooking and baking this year to generate as much holiday cheer and glad-tidings as possible. Here’s what I’m making to feel festive, cozy and heart-healthy this holiday season. What are you making?

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Discovering CHD on a Soccer Field

by Jordan Marada on Friday, Nov 20, 2020

My name is Jordan Marada and I am a southern California native. At the early age of 4, my mother introduced me to a soccer ball after playing for many years herself.

Both of my parents helped coach my recreational soccer team before I was quickly recruited by a competitive club team at age 9. I played competitively from an early age and was continuously motivated by the passion and love for the sport, the friendships, and the dream I had of being a professional soccer player!

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An Open Letter to Parents of CHD Babies

by Jennifer Casson Tripucka on Wednesday, Oct 28, 2020

This letter is one I have wanted to write to my parents for years, and hopefully, if you have parents or know parents of CHD babies, you’ll share this with them, too.

Dear Mom and Dad,

This letter has taken a long time for me to write — 33+ years to be exact — but I have a few things I wanted to share with you about being parents of a CHD baby. While I cannot begin to know what it feels like, even being on the other end, as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized how incredible you are (even more than before!) while going through such a tumultuous period of time bringing me safely into the world.

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Food For and From the Heart: Healthy Squash Recipes

by Emily Earhart on Thursday, Oct 22, 2020

Happy autumn!

As the days get shorter and cooler and we begin gearing up for the holidays (whatever they look like this year), I’m sure many of you are finding yourself cooking and baking more, like I am. Especially during times of uncertainty or stress, I find that baking something sweet is my go-to coping mechanism; it keeps me busy, distracted and satisfies my sweet tooth!

While I do think a little indulgence in sweets and baked goods is important in self-care, I’d love to share some heart-healthy seasonal recipes with you to try out this fall! And of course, I added my favorite pumpkin cookie recipe too! Enjoy and happy cooking! Stay well!

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The opinions expressed by ACHA bloggers and those providing comments on the ACHA Blog are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the Adult Congenital Heart Association or any employee thereof. ACHA is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the ACHA bloggers.

The contents of this blog are presented for informational purposes only, and should not be substituted for professional advice. Always consult your physicians with your questions and concerns.