In the spring of 2017, Lacey and Wes Daniels received news no parents-to-be want to hear. They were informed that their unborn child had a severe heart defect.

After months of uncertainty, “heart warrior” Simms Daniels was born in June. He was diagnosed with hypo-plastic left heart syndrome, a serious, complicated congenital heart defect (CHD), and he had his first open heart surgery at just 5 days old. Simms was just 3 months old when he had his second successful open heart surgery.

Today, the Danielses are thankful that their son is doing well and that the interventions necessary to save his life were available.

“Simms is a happy, thriving 2 year-old,” say the Danielses. “It’s one of the reasons we are hugely supportive of the American Heart Association and all they do to help children like Simms.”

Simms will undergo a third open-heart procedure in the future. The need is great for new treatments for the world’s leading birth defect, congenital heart defects.

To help further lifesaving research, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association and The Children’s Heart Foundation are working together to raise awareness, address national policies for early detection and discover new and advanced treatments that can change the future for babies born with a heart defect.

Join Simms and the Daniels family at the Pee Dee Heart Walk this Saturday in downtown Florence. It’s not too late to form a team, make a donation or volunteer.

For more information go to peedeeheartwalk.org.

SHERYL LOVE

Senior director of development

American Heart Association in Florence

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