The Mended Little Hearts' mission is to empower families affected by congenital heart disease
Since 2004, Mended Little Hearts has provided families with heart disease an outlet through which they can find answers, education, resources and access to local-based peer-to-peer support - building HOPE for a future. With Mended Little Hearts, children and patients with congenital heart defects (CHD) and their families find strength and understanding from those who share the same experience. Locally and nationally, Mended Little Hearts is 100% volunteer run by heart families.
Mended Little Hearts of Chicago
- charters Mended Little Hearts of Children’s Memorial Hospital in 2007 providing support to all children undergoing heart surgeries and
offering educational meetings at Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield.
- additionally charters Mended Little Hearts of Advocate Park Ridge in 2011 providing support and bravery bags to all children undergoing heart surgeries
and offering educational meetings at Advocate Park Ridge.
Our care bags offer comfort items for both heart patient and parent/caregiver to make their hospital stay a little more tolerable while knowing they are not alone.
- merged to become Mended Little Hearts of Chicago in 2012 combining both
Mended Little Hearts of Children’s Memorial Hospital and Mended Little Hearts of Advocate Park Ridge to expand our support,
awareness and bravery bag program to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital (formerly Children’s Memorial Hospital of Chicago),
Rush Hospital Medical Center, Advocate Oak Lawn and Advocate Park Ridge Children’s Hospital.
- charters Mended Little Angels of Chicago in 2012 offering support for heart families suffering the loss of a heart child.
Angel memory boxes are given to heart families that have lost a child to a CHD. First angel boxes delivered February 2014 to
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, Advocate Oak Lawn Children’s Hospital & Rush University Medical Center.
- expands with a new chapter at Advocate Hope Hospital in Oak Lawn February 2013
and held its first meeting at Hope Ronald McDonald House-Oak Lawn.
- delivers care bags to Comer’s Children’s Hospital in July 2013, now offering care bags to
FIVE Chicago Hospitals delivering about 80 bravery bags a month in Chicago!
- delivers its first light bravery bags to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, Advocate Oak Lawn & Park Ridge Children’s Hospital
and Rush University Medical Center in February 2014 for children undergoing cardiac catheterizations.
- adds an additional meeting site location at Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet and held its first meeting in May 2014.
- adds support meetings for teens and adults with CHD at rotating hospital locations and held its first meeting in November 2014.
- delivers the first bravery bags for adults with CHD in 2015.
-Bravery Chest to cardiologist offices filled with toys and goodies during long cardiac check-ups November 2015.
-Launched and delivered "Adventures with Stitch" Coloring/Activity Booklet in Bravery Bags and doctors offices, May 2016.
- adds an additional meeting site location at Mercy Rockford and held its first meeting in June 2016.
We currently offers several programs & services to help families including:
Nothing can replace in-person connections with others facing a similar journey. Mended Little Hearts group meetings provide invaluable peer-to-peer interaction
and a forum for families to make personal connections with each other and the medical community.
Children, teens & adults with heart defects can meet others like them, with similar scars, and know that they are not alone.
Parents and patients can meet who have similar joys, fears, concerns and hopes.
Check out our Events & Meetings page to find a group near you!
Mended Little Hearts trained and accredited visitors visit with patients or parents in hospitals, by phone and online.
The volunteers are parents or patients who have experienced congenital heart defects firsthand. Visits provide support, information and outreach
uniquely delivered by a parent who has experienced open-heart surgery or other heart procedures with their own child.
CHD Awareness Initiatives
Most people are unaware that congenital heart defects are the most common birth defect in the United States.
Mended Little Hearts works to promote education and awareness to those who may be impacted by congenital heart defects so they are prepared if their child is diagnosed.
The instruction includes signs and symptoms, which has the potential to save lives when parents are able to recognize symptoms in time to help their child.
Mended Little Hearts also creates awareness of the need to support congenital heart defect research so more children can live healthy lives and become healthy adults.
Health Education to Communities
Mended Little Hearts groups help to educate people in the communities. Cardiovascular professionals and other professionals in the community provide
helpful information at Mended Little Hearts group meetings, through workshops, seminars and at health fairs. Families receive essential information about
treatment options, research innovations, social support resources, and other topics that make navigating the diagnosis of heart defects less frightening. CHD is lifelong and the importance of continued care through adulthood is essential.
Mended Little Hearts members interact with families through Internet and phone outreach as well as by providing Web resources.
Hospital stays and seclusion in the home can leave families who have loved ones with congenital heart defects feeling helpless and alone.
Through Mended Little Hearts, caregivers have access to ongoing personal support from people who understand.
Mended Little Hearts advocates on issues that help families with CHD, such as newborn screening, advances in research and improved surveillance of those impacted.