Gavin’s Got Heart is a non –profit organization that supports families with children affected by congenital heart defects.
Congenital heart defects (CHDs) are the most common birth defect in the United States, affecting nearly 1 in every 110 babies. Gavin's diagnosis was determined at a 20 week sonogram as Double Outlet Right Ventricle (DORV) with Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA), coarctation of the aortic arch, and a VSD. He was born at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital and undoubtedly had a challenging road ahead of him. At only six days old, he was put in the hands of Dr. Emile Bacha as he underwent a seven-hour open-heart surgery. Complications brought Gavin back to the operating room thirteen days later, to have a permanent pacemaker implanted; complete heart block being a complication of his first surgery. On December 4, 2013, Gavin returned to Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital to have an unexpected third open-heart surgery. The lead from his pacemaker to his heart had snapped and the entire device needed to be replaced. Through his journey, Gavin has demonstrated what is truly important in life. Gavin is a true heart hero...although small in size, he continues to inspire people in a BIG way!
The funds raised by Gavin’s Got Heart are directed towards initiatives that our organization has embraced, including the following:
- BEAT Program –Developed by Southside Hospital / North Shore LIJ Health System, this program offers free heart health screenings and CPR/AED training for students in grades 9-12. Gavin’s Got Heart has donated $10,000 to this initiative thus far, funding three screening dates in October, November, and December of 2015. These screenings will cover: blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), blood cholesterol, blood glucose, EKG, nutrition and physician consultations, and educational opportunities including cardiac risk factors, “hands only” CPR training, and AED training.
- Family Sponsorships – We support families with children affected by congenital heart defects to alleviate financial burdens. To date, Gavin’s Got Heart has sponsored 33 local heart families and donated over $160,000 to them.
- Continued Care Program – This program was put in place to support Gavin’s Got Heart families as they continue their difficult journey caring for a child with a CHD by sending thoughtful tokens of support while these heart heroes undergo surgeries and interventions.
- Smile Sacks – Gavin’s Got Heart donates these care packages to families of cardiac patients spending time in the neonatal and pediatric intensive care units of the hospital, with an emphasis on offering support to the parents/caregivers of these patients.
- Red Blanket Initiative – Gavin’s Got Heart’s hospital outreach program donates cozy red blankets to cardiac patients admitted to the neonatal and pediatric intensive care units of the hospital.