Bixby 7-Year-Old Born With Heart Defect Shares His Story To Bring Awareness To CHD

In February, Valentine's decorations are all over the Tedesco home, but for this family, the hearts have a bigger meaning.

Sunday, February 11th 2024, 10:02 pm



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The month of February doesn't just mean boxes of chocolate or bouquets of flowers, it's also about bringing more awareness to heart disease, and heart defects some people may be born with.

In February, Valentine's decorations are all over the Tedesco home, but for this family, the hearts have a bigger meaning.

"We had no idea there was anything going on with your heart when we took that photo," BreAnn Tedesco told her son JP while looking at a photo album.

JP Tedesco was born with CHD, a congenital heart defect.

"He was a little bit blue and we didn't know what to make of it, and when the nurses heard a murmur he got life flighted up to St. Francis and he was diagnosed with a really complicated heart," John Tedesco, JP's father said.

JP's artists operated backwards and now he has a pacemaker. The discovery meant JP would be different than most kids his age.

"I found out I have a special heart," JP said. "On the outside, he looks like a normal 7-year-old boy, and you can't see the scars, and you don't know about his journey," said JP's mom BreAnn Tedesco.

About 1 in 100 children are diagnosed with CHD each year without a cure, but kids like JP are helping doctors find more research about the diagnosis.

"What makes you a hero, a heart hero?" BreAnn asked her son, to which JP replied, "I'm brave."

JP wears a heart monitor that sends information to the doctors at Boston Children's Hospital, the ones who saved his life.

"The correction that JP had simply wasn't available 10-12 years ago, but because of research that's provided to these associations, he was able to be corrected. The knowledge, the science all was there. Now they're studying JP for kids in the future," JP's mom, BreAnn, said.

The Tedesco's have partnered with the American Heart Association to help spread awareness about CHD and raise money for more research.

"When we do stories like this and we get the word out, it builds our heart community more. So parents contact mommy and daddy all the time and say, 'Hey, we saw JP on TV. I have a heart kid too,' and that's how we can build our community of heart kids and heart families around Bixby," BreAnn told her son.

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