2017-2018 Akron Heart Ball
Meet Harper Cunningham: Warrior Princess – 2018 Heart Child
Born with complete balanced atrioventricular canal (CAVC), a congenital heart defect that only accounts for a about five percent of those diagnosed in infants but is common in babies with Down syndrome, four-year-old Harper Cunningham is a survivor.
Undiagnosed through several ultrasounds in utero, Harper’s condition was a surprise to her parents. Her journey began when, at just two months old, she ended up in the hospital after becoming severely septic. Harper would spend 54 days in the hospital before being diagnosed with CAVC – a large hole in the center of the heart affecting all four chambers where they would normally be divided. When a heart is properly divided, the oxygen-rich blood from the lungs does not mix with the oxygen-poor blood from the body. In Harper’s case, the CAVC was allowing the blood to mix and the chambers and valves to not properly route the blood to each station of circulation, among other issues.
On June 5, 2014, at just three months and two days old, Harper had her first open heart surgery. She ended up with severe pulmonary hypertension, a feeding tube and was on oxygen 24/7 for the next year and a half.
And while it appeared her first surgery was a success, Harper’s parents soon learned she would need another surgery at just over a year old. Her mitral valve was failing, causing a leakage of blood and increased pressure. The doctors decided to repair Harper’s mitral valve instead of replacing it. However, just six months later the repair began to fail, and Harper had to have her mitral valve replaced.
Then, when she was two and a half, Harper went in for her fourth open heart surgery – this time for a sub-aortic blockage and another replacement of her mitral valve to make it bigger. Thanks to medical advancements in diagnosis and treatments, this will hopefully mean Harper won’t need another surgery until she is almost an adult!
Together, we can change lives and saves lives!
To Donate today, click the Donation tab to your right.
Open Your Heart Chair: Justin Dunn, M.D.
Thanks to our Pre-Event Open Your Heart Donors:
Barristers of Ohio, LLC
Dr. & Mrs. William & Deborah Bauman
City Cardiology Associates
Dr. & Mrs. David & Robyn Cutler
Bernard & Barbara Dunn
Dr. & Mrs. Justin & Anne Marie Dunn
Gabrail Family Foundation
HBK Sorce Financial LLC
John & Cherie Jackson
Dr. & Mrs. Nicholas Jouriles
John and Alice Luse
Main Street Gourmet
Ted & Kaye Reiter
The Maynard Family Foundation
Imagine a world without heart disease or stroke. Many say this is unattainable, considering heart disease kills more Americans than the next four leading causes of death combined. But this vision — for a world free of heart disease and stroke — drives the lifesaving mission of the American Heart Association. Open Your Heart gives donors the opportunity to make a direct impact on the American Heart Association’s mission by making a personal gift.
Your generosity enables the American Heart Association to fund groundbreaking research, develop guidelines to improve patient care and help people lower their risk factors for heart disease and stroke. As long as heart disease continues to be the nation’s No. 1 cause of death, the importance of our work will only grow. Please consider making a gift to Open Your Heart by clicking on the Donation tab to your right, or during our Special Appeal at the Heart Ball.
Saturday, May 12, 2018
6:00pm to 11:00pm
3180 W. Market St.
Akron, OH 44333
6:00 pm Cocktails (open bar) and hors d'oeuvres
7:30 pm Dinner
8:30 pm Event program, Live Auction, Open Your Heart Special Appeal, Dancing to Special Request