Congenital heart defect awareness week

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ALBANY, Wis. "Looking back on that day, that was the hardest day of our lives," Alexa Rogers said.

As a mother of four Rogers thought she knew what to expect when she found out baby number five was on it's way, but fate had other ideas.

"I knew something was wrong when they called the doctor in," Rogers said.

At 20 weeks pregnant, Rogers found out that her baby had a hole in her heart and was missing vital anatomy parts of the heart.

"I knew then that she was going to need help," Rogers said.

Ailyn Diane Rogers was born on Sept. 20, 2018, six weeks premature and as her mother says, "feisty and ready to see the world."

Her first view of the world was bright lights on an operating room as doctors performed her first open heart surgery. Rogers, fighting back tears, remembered that day, "Not knowing if you child was going to survive is something no parent should have to go through."

But, congenital heart defects are more common than you think. One in one hundred babies are born with a heart defect and it is the most common birth defect in the U.S.

The Rogers prayed for Ailyn's heart to start beating on it's own and their prayers were answered, but Ailyn's fight is just beginning.

"There's no face to congenital heart defects, these little babies have scars down their chest, they call them their ziplines because they look like zippers, but there's no face to C-H-D like there is cancer," Rogers said.

For the rest of her life Ailyn will have to rely on medication, surgeries and potentially a heart transplant to maintain a healthy heart. The Rogers family has set up a Go Fund Me page to help with the piling medical bills for their baby daughter, you can find it HERE .

If you would like to learn more about congenital heart defects and how you can help other families who find their babies as the one in one hundred, CLICK HERE.