Mended Little Hearts gives Bravery Bags to families in the hospital after their child has had heart surgery. When a child needs a heart surgery or procedure, the whole family has to be very brave. The Bravery Bag is a bag of helpful items for families with children in the hospital, but it is also so much more. Bravery Bags represent hope and courage and let families know they are not alone. Parents often keep the items in the Bravery Bag for many years because the Bravery Bag creates an emotional connection that lasts long past a child’s hospital journey.
Families who receive Bravery Bags have let us know how much it means to them to get the bag during such a difficult time in their lives.
The following are items needed for our Bravery Bags that we collect as donations. Please donate — many items can be found in the dollar sections. All donations must be new & in original packaging. If you would like to contribute, please contact us!
Many kids with congenital heart disease need to see a cardiologist on a regular basis to make sure their heart is functioning well and to see if they need surgery or other heart procedures. These cardiology visits can be very scary for kids. To help cardiologists and their nurses reward kids for being brave during a cardiology visit, Mended Little Hearts provides them with a Bravery Chest full of toys for kids after their cardiology visit. This program is a new program of Mended Little Hearts of Boston and it is located in the Outpatient Cardiology Clinic at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Need for Bravery Chests
About 1 in every 110 babies is born with a heart defect each year (approximately 40,000) making it the most common birth defect in the U.S. Nearly 25% of these children will need open-heart surgery or other procedures to survive. Children born with congenital heart defects often are not “fixed” by surgery, and congenital heart disease is a life-long condition that needs to be monitored by cardiologists trained in congenital heart defects. Kids living with congenital heart disease have to be very brave, and this bravery should be recognized, where possible. The Bravery Chest provides cardiologist and their nurses a way to honor that bravery.