It is Congenital Heart Defect Awareness week when one mom wants you to think about your and your child’s heart.

Since her son was diagnosed with a heart defect El Paso mom Silvia Martinez has been part of a social media campaign sharing that 1 in 100 people are born with CHD.

Martinez shares that Congenital Heart Defects are the most common type of birth defects. Some people go through life without realizing they were born with one.

Martinez said she didn’t think her son Alexander Quinonez’ heart murmur was a sign.

A dentist who wanted to do dental work on Alexander four years ago asked for a doctor’s clearance when Martinez mentioned the mumur.

During the checkup, a cardiologist gave them the news. Alexander needed surgery right away. Martinez is thankful the discovery was made when it was and not when it would be too late.

“We would have found out let’s say he would have been running around at school or doing something very rigerous where he is running. He could have collapsed,” said Martinez.

Alexander will see a cardiologist for the rest of his life.

Treatment depends on the type of defect and even if the heart is repaired, many people are not cured.

Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week starts on Februrary 7 and ends on Valentine’s Day every year.

Signs and symptoms for CHDs depend on the type and severity of the defect. Some  have no signs or symptoms. Others may cause some of the following symptoms:

  • Blue-tinted nails or lips
  • Fast or troubled breathing
  • Tiredness when feeding
  • Sleepiness

If you would like to donate to research click here.  Learn more about CHDs from the CDC.