MADISON (WKOW) -- February 7-14 is Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week.
Health experts say eight out of every 1,000 babies born each year have a heart defect, and often, they can't survive it.
4-year-old Sierra Davenport was born in Madison with a congenital heart defect.
At just two weeks old she had her first emergency procedure necessary to save her heart and her life after being transported in an ambulance to Children's Hospital in Milwaukee.
Then at 6 months old, Sierra had open heart surgery.
Now, she's a healthy, happy 4-year-old.
But not all kids have the same outcome.
Congenital cardiovascular defects are the most common cause of infant death resulting from birth defects.
But, thanks to medical research, experts say most babies with congenital heart defects now survive to adulthood.
Up to 1.3 million people in the U.S. are living with a heart defect they've had since birth.
About half of them are under age 25.
Advances in diagnosis and surgery have made it possible to repair most defects, even those once considered hopeless.
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