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Congenital Heart Defects In Spotlight During Heart Awareness Month

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(Photo by Ed Fischer) Lynne Adkins
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By Lynne Adkins

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – During Heart Awareness Month, congenital heart defects are in the spotlight.

29-year-old Ruth Phillippi, of Philadelphia, is an education and outreach manager at the Adult Congenital Heart Association.
She was born with several heart defects and has undergone numerous surgeries over the years.

“It’s always been a large part of my life, as a young person I didn’t have quite the stamina to keep up with everyone; I had blue lips until I was 13. After another surgery, when I was 13, I had the same amount of energy and kind of forgot I had it,” Phillippi explains.

She says congenital heart defects are found in one in 100 babies, affecting the formation of the major structures of the child’s heart.