MADISON, Ala. -- Every one in 100 babies in the United States is born with a congenital heart defect. That's about 40,000 babies a year.
Thankfully, a multitude of support groups-- both national and local-- can make a world of difference.
“Knowing that they’ve been taken care of, and knowing the steps forward, and that there’s a support network at the American Heart Association that they can use and utilize is very important," said Stephanie Cline, a representative with the American Heart Association.
The “Little Hats, Big Hearts” project brought together local women to knit tiny red hats for babies in local hospitals.
"They’re able to make cute little hats for our babies born in the month of February to bring awareness to congenital heart defects," Cline said.
We met two very special babies at Madison Hospital whose little heads were just the right size to do some hat modeling!
Baby Millie Kay Brunton was born in Huntsville Hospital on Friday with a resting heart rate and was transported to Madison Hospital for intensive care.
“They think she has sinus bradycardia, we’re still here right now because her oxygen has dropped a little bit, so they’re taking great care of her," said first-time mom Tammy Brunton. “Everyone has been so good to us—and we’ve gotten great support, I cannot tell you how many blessing we’ve received.”
Baby Kai Smith was born a whole two months early, and she's currently in intensive care while she learns to eat and grows stronger.
"We were very pleasantly surprised that she’s as healthy as she is. She’s our little bitty tee-tiny thing," said Gabe Smith, Kai's mom.
Sixty hats were donated to be worn by babies at both Huntsville and Madison hospitals—and if you can believe it—the hats we saw were the regular-sized hats. Premature babies will wear even smaller ones.
The goal at both hospitals is to have every baby born in the month of February leave with a little red hat!