Our Mission

The Mended Little Hearts' mission is to empower families affected by congenital heart disease.


Our History
Mended Little Hearts is a program of the Mended Hearts, Inc. Mended Hearts has been providing hope and support to heart patients and their families since 1951, when four heart patients in Boston, Massachusetts came together to discuss their heart surgery experiences. They quickly realized their shared stories provided both hope and healing in spite of their circumstances. In 2004, Mended Hearts local and national leader, Tita Hutchins, recognized the unique need for children with congenital heart defects and their families. The earnest desire to provide support to the "littlest heart patients of all" led to the formation of the first two Mended Little Hearts groups – one in Fresno, California and one in Hollywood, Florida. 

Since 2004, Mended Little Hearts has provided families and caregivers of children with heart defects and heart disease an outlet through which they can find answers, education, resources and access to local-based peer-to-peer support – building hope for the future. With Mended Little Hearts, children with congenital heart defects (CHD) and their families find strength and understanding from those who share the same experience.

About Mended Little Hearts of Chicago

Since 2004, Mended Little Hearts has provided heart families and caregivers of children with heart defects an outlet through which they can find answers, education, resources and access to local-based peer-to-peer support – building hope for the future. With Mended Little Hearts, children with congenital heart defects (CHD) and their families find strength and understanding from those who share the same experience. We let them know they are NOT alone.

  • Mended Little Hearts of Children’s Memorial Hospital was chartered in 2007 providing support and care bags to all children undergoing heart surgeries also offering educational meetings at Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield.
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  • Mended Little Hearts of Advocate Park Ridge was chartered in 2011 also providing support and care bags to all children undergoing heart surgeries also offering educational meetings at Advocate Park Ridge.
  • Mended Little Hearts of Chicago was started in April 2012 to combine both Mended Little Hearts Chicago chapters and expand our support, awareness and care bag program FOUR at Chicago land hospitals adding care bag deliveries in June 2012 to Rush Medical Center and Advocate Oak Lawn.
  • Mended Little Hearts of Chicago continues expanding our group to offer educational meetings at Chicago land hospitals. Our care bag program extends 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. 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. Along with comfort items we provide tips for dealing with stress and depression, appointment logs, and much more. Our group is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization and we support ourselves financially with small fundraising events & private donations in order to provide all our programs.
  • Mended Little Angels of Chicago support group for heart families suffering the loss of a heart child. This group was chartered August 2012 by heart families looking to support and connect with other heart families suffering the same loss and learning how to cope with their loss. Angel 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.
  • Mended Little Hearts of Chicago meetings site location was added at Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin and held its first meeting in November 2012.
  • Mended Little Hearts of Chicago expanded with a new chapter at Advocate Hope Hospital in Oak Lawn February 2013 and held its first meeting at Hope Ronald McDonald House.
  • Mended Little Hearts of Chicago delivered care bags to Comer’s Children’s Hospital in July 2013 now offering care bags to FIVE Chicago Hospitals delivering about 80 care bags a month in Chicago!
  • Mended Little Hearts of Chicago delivered it's first mini care bags to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital and Advocate Oak Lawn & Park Ridge Children’s Hospital & Rush University Medical Center in February 2014 for children undergoing cardiac catheterizations.
  • Mended Little Hearts of Chicago meetings site location was added at Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet and held its first meeting in May 2014.   

        Our Services
    Mended 
    Little 
    Hearts currently offers several programs and services to help families including: 

  • Group Meetings
    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 with heart defects can meet others like them, with similar scars, and know that they are not alone. Parents can meet other parents and caregivers who have similar joys, fears, concerns and hopes. Check out our Events & Meetings page to find a group near you!
       
  • Accredited Visiting
    Mended Little Hearts trained and accredited visitors visit with families who have children with congenital heart defects in hospitals, by phone and online. The volunteers are family members 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.
       
  • Ongoing Communication
    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 children with congenital heart defects feeling helpless and alone. Through Mended Little Hearts, caregivers have access to ongoing personal support from people who understand.
       
  • Advocacy
    Mended Little Hearts advocates on issues that help families with CHD, such as newborn screening, advances in research and improved surveillance of those impacted.
    Mended
    Little
    Hearts Advocacy (Link to Advocacy here)
    Congenital Heart Futures Act 
    Pulse Oximetry Advocacy
     

 

   
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