Mom helping baby walk

Baby With Half of a Heart Survives, Then Thrives with the Help of Moms on Call

In 2016, Clint and Linda Pilkinton had their first heart-healthy child, Charlie. Like any new parents, they struggled to find their new “normal” with their infant son and turned to the scheduling and methods of “Moms On Call” created by Pediatric Nurses, Jennifer Walker and Laura Hunter.

By 9 weeks old, Charlie was sleeping through the night, thriving, and mom and dad were Moms on Call followers for life.

Then in 2017, sixteen weeks into their pregnancy of baby #2, they heard the news; baby Luke would be born with a Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) and would need to undergo multiple surgeries to survive with “half a heart”. They were devastated, leaving the couple feeling “helpless and hopeless,” and resulting in a very stressful pregnancy.

At Luke’s PCICU hospital bedside, whenever approved as safe by their hospital, they comforted him using adapted practices from the MOC method like their white noise sound machine to drown out the beeping machines and swaddling him snuggly whenever they could.

Once Luke was safely home and had been cleared by his pediatric cardiologist and pediatrician to do so, Clint and Linda began using the MOC training schedules for feed, play and sleep. He was able to get on a successful routine and thrive just like older brother Charlie had done.

At the age of 3, Luke Pilkinton has already endured two open-heart surgeries and will require further surgery in 2021.

Each year 40,000 babies are born in the U.S. with a form of CHD. That comes out to about 1 newborn every 15 minutes. With this knowledge, Clint and Linda Pilkinton established the Bright Heart Foundation not only to anchor all-important research efforts, but, by sharing their own story, to raise awareness and offer hope and support to those families dealing with the everyday challenges of CHD.

Bright Heart Foundation advocates for and supports children and their families living with the challenges of Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) while also providing support for the physicians who treat them.

Bright Heart Foundation Raises Money For CHD Research + Three Programs:

1. SURVIVE Program

Provide support tools to doctors and nurses to use for their inpatient babies and children crucial to keeping their spirits elevated during their months/years of hospital stays as they fight to survive CHD.

2. THRIVE Program

Provide developmental support equipment to the inpatient and outpatient healthcare team in OT, PT, and Speech Therapy to use for patients as they work to reach their full ability potential and thrive.

3. ALIVE Program

Provide mental health care to those living with CHD, family members that care for those with CHD, and CHD healthcare providers.

To make a donation supporting Bright Heart Foundation’s efforts for CHD during Bright Heart Month, February 2021. Donate Now!

Sleep training and scheduling programs are not able to be used for every child. You must always consult with your child’s physician and cardiologist before starting any sleep training and scheduling programs. Sleep training and scheduling programs may only be used with children that are deemed healthy enough or cleared for such activities by their doctors.

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