2016-2017 Northwest Arkansas Heart Ball
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My name is Maddox Harrison Fitzgerald, I was born July 16, 2011 to Jason and Chrissy Fitzgerald. I was the first-born boy of three brothers. I live in Springdale, Ark. and I am in kindergarten at Willis Shaw Elementary.
I was born at 38 weeks’ gestation. On the day my mom and dad left the hospital, they were thinking they had a completely healthy baby boy that weighed 6 lbs. and 14 oz.
My parents took me to my first checkup at the pediatrician’s office when I was 4 days old. The pediatrician told my parents I had a heart murmur and a sacral dimple on my lower back. My parents were very sad. They had left the hospital with a healthy baby and then they were told their newborn son had a heart defect and possibly spina bifida. The doctor referred us to the Children’s Hospital in Little Rock for more testing.
The Neurologist said my sacral dimple would not change my way of life. In fact, it turned out to be a tethered spine that would detach itself as I grew.
We then met with a cardiologist, whose tests concluded that I had a hole in my heart in the atrial valve. The heart team at Children’s Hospital told my parents they would monitor this small defect, and there was a chance it would close on its own.
This condition is known as an Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) defect. It is a hole in the wall that separates the top two chambers of the heart. This defect is in the septum between the heart’s two upper chambers. The septum is a wall that separates the heart’s left and right sides.
With an ASD defect, blood can travel across the hole from the left upper heart chamber to the right upper chamber and out into the lung arteries. If the ASD is large, the extra blood pumped into the lung arteries can make the heart and lungs work harder. This can gradually cause preeminent damage the lung arteries.
My mom was born in 1984 with the same heart condition. She too had a pin-sized hole in her heart in the atrial valve. My grandmother was told it would close on its own, but it grew too large. When my mom was 9 she had open-heart surgery to repair her heart.
After monitoring my heart for almost 4 years, my cardiologist said the hole grew too big and it would not close on its own. My parents were so sad. They worried that we would not beat the heart disease. They ultimately decided on me having the surgery.
On January 6, 2016, I had open-heart surgery at the Children’s Hospital. I was very brave. I told my parents I wasn’t scared. I know this was harder on my family than it was on me.
It took 10 days for me to recover. I started missing my brothers and my friends at my preschool by the fourth day. My nurses and cardiology team took very good care of me. They knew how much I loved superman and drew a big superman sign on my door.
I am now 5 years old and I am healthy and happy! I still love superman and baseball, riding my 4-wheeler, going fishing, swimming and playing with my brothers. I say my prayers every night, while pestering my brothers.
HOW TO BECOME A COR VITAE SOCIETY MEMBER
Cor Vitae: Latin for The Heart of Life is the Annual Philanthropic Giving Society of the American Heart Association. The Cor Vitae Society represents a community of like-minded individuals who understand the importance of changing and saving lives through the work of the American Heart Association. The Cor Vitae Society is the vehicle for committed supports of the AHA, like you, to be recognized for your annual support and serves as a platform for you to inspire others to also consider making an impact on the culture of health in America and beyond. Because of your commitment, our mission of building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke continue to advance. Thank you for your partnership.
Annual Member Recognition Levels:
Lifetime Member Recognition Levels:
Heart and Torch Circle $1M+
The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting cardiovascular diseases. The Association funds more cardiovascular research than any U.S. organization outside the government. Since 1949, we have invested more than $3.3 billion in the heart of our country. Each year, 22.5 million volunteers and donors work with us to create better lives by teaching, supporting and studying the needs of those at risk. But we cannot do it alone.
For additional information about supporting the American Heart Association and joining Cor Vitae, please contact Cindy Hudlow.
Saturday, May 13, 2017
JQ Hammons Center
3303 S Pinnacle Hills Pkwy
5:30 pm Doors Open/Registration
6:00 pm Silent Auction Begins
7:30 pm Dinner
8:00 pm Silent Auction Ends
8:15 pm Program Begins / Sweethearts Presentation
8:30 pm Live Auction Begins
9:30 pm Heart of a Rockstar Lip Sync Showdown
11:00 pm Event Concludes