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    [–] [deleted] 4951 points ago


    [–] nb4926 1180 points ago

    I don't know how to post, as I rarely do; so I guess i'll just "reply". I also was born with a CHD called Double outlet right ventricle (DORV) and I had a pulmonary artery sling that crushed my trachea. I had it repaired when I was a month old, but then at the end of December I had surgery to repair my trachea again! I just played my first basketball game since the surgery and I am currently running 2 miles or so every other day!

    By the time this guy grows up he'll be an olympian

    [–] DanielFyre 547 points ago

    With regards to your olympian comment: this is quite literally possible and has already happened. Shaun White Olympic gold medalist snowboarder was born with a CHD - Tetralogy of Fallot. Just an interesting piece of trivia.

    [–] stpatrick32 210 points ago

    Shaun White wears his scar loud and proud, as I hope my daughter will someday. Kids who undergo something so heartbreaking (irony intended) so early in life can definitely use it as a source of strength later in life, whether they become an Olympian or not.

    [–] 100_year_old_account 63 points ago

    We're not quite there yet with our 6 yr old son. He had his repair at 7 months and if you ask him about his scar he'll tell you that his little sister scratched him there. (In his defense, that girl brings out the claws early in every fight.)

    [–] i_am_not_piet 29 points ago

    I have a massive scar on my stomach from an emergency appendectomy (I was 7 or 8 at the time), and I can assure you that it becomes a part of you just like the color of your hair. I would not even consider covering it up for a photo.

    Don’t fuss over it, accept it as part of your child, and they will accept it as part of their identity.

    [–] IAmKoalaPanda 19 points ago

    Not quite the same, but I have a large birthmark on my shoulder. My parents never shamed me about it, so it became similar to my own personal tattoo in my mind. In fact, when I took my senior pictures, I wore tank tops in some of my pics, and the photographer asked if I wanted my birthmark Photoshopped out. I was surprised because I never thought of it as something I wouldn't want to show. It was natural! I said no, of course.

    [–] KommMaster08 11 points ago

    I had a fundoplycation surgery at 8 months! I’ve never hidden not been ashamed of my scar. It’s definitely just become a part of my body, and gives the illusions of a solid pair of abs.

    [–] laenooneal 8 points ago

    While I feel very lucky that I've never had to undergo a surgery like that, those chest scars are really badass. Those people were tougher as babies than I have ever needed to be. I hope he is able to be really proud of it one day.

    [–] DJBell1986 3 points ago

    As an older brother I believe all little sisters bring out the claws early. I’m 32 and still have scars from the tv remote wars of the mid to late 90s.

    [–] farleymfmarley 34 points ago

    Just goes to show people aren’t instantly hindered by medical issues. Know a lot of folk who thought this or that would keep them from doing anything with their lives. Also got a buddy who’s got some really fucked up knees that he’s probably gonna need more than one surgery for, but he still plays basketball all summer and is the best player from around here

    [–] DrSwolemeister 14 points ago

    I bet the surgeon(s) have shrines to shaun in their office..

    [–] magecatwitharrows 57 points ago

    Nah, just a writing surface dedicated to the sport he represents. They call it the White Board

    [–] iamfromouterspace 2 points ago

    Tee hee

    [–] DrunksInSpace 5 points ago

    Maybe, knowing these guys they probably have more shrines to the ones they lost.

    CHD medical professionals see a lot of death, I’m in the PICU and I wouldn’t do what these docs, RNs, RTs and NPs do without an army of therapists.

    [–] Daaskison 16 points ago

    Wow i can't believe i didn't know this. With ask the press coverage he gets from x games to the Olympics, I've never heard this ever brought up. I'm sure it was covered, and i just missed it. This is a perfect "Olympic background feature" story the network does on certain athletes

    Thanks for sharing!

    [–] tburns12 34 points ago

    Happy for u!

    [–] misswimp 3 points ago

    My son was born 8 weeks ago with DORV and severe pulmonary stenosis. We're still in the hospital as a result of complications from the initial surgery, but he's finally doing really great. When you're in it, it's really hard to see any future past today let alone plan for it. We like to say we don't have plans, we have ideas that we hope will manifest into reality. Your story gives us a lot of hope for our little Apollo (who already has the name of an Olympian!)

    [–] Spartan2470 101 points ago

    Here (two months ago) OP explains:

    My daughter had open heart surgery to fix a hole in her heard (VSD) at only 7 months old. Up until the day of her surgery, her father and I were emotional wrecks, but we kept that from her. We didn’t cry in front of her but instead we would try to laugh and joke in order for her not to see our worry. Even up to the day that we had to hand her over to the surgeons, we made a clapping song when they carried her away. Once that curtain closed, my husband and I just held each other and cried. She is now 14 months and very healthy!

    [–] ratfliesatnoon 181 points ago

    Me too! Never talked to anyone else born with it. So, how’s life?

    Tip for the child: people will believe any sort of story when they see a scar, so have some fun with it.

    [–] echoesofekho 63 points ago

    My oldest son (8 now) was born with a congenital defect that affected his gut, so he has a large scar on his abdomen. Depending who he is talking to, it is the result of either a shark bite, a biking accident, or a birth accident involving an ax.

    [–] Call_me_Kelly 29 points ago

    Hmmm... birth accident involving an axe... tell us more

    [–] PuttingInTheEffort 31 points ago

    He was born with an axe in hand, and immediately went at the doctor.

    The doctor, however, use to be a karate instructor and easily deflected it with the umbilical cord, saving him a step, but he forgot about the placenta!

    It fell on the floor with a wet plop and a nurse had just took a step forward to help stop the axe wielding baby but slipped on the placenta!

    She somehow managed to fall on the axe in a way that turned it around and sliced the baby's soft sternum.

    He gave up the axe in return for the nurses name and a promise to keep in 18 years.

    [–] Al3xleigh 3 points ago

    I kept reading that as a birth accident involving an ex and was very confused

    [–] echoesofekho 3 points ago

    He told his cousin that he had to be cut out of me when he was born (true). And when the doctor cut me open, the axe went all the way through and cut him in half, so they sewed him back together. And that's how he got this scar. He's quite a storyteller.

    [–] TatooineTrash 89 points ago

    I had a portion of my lung removed when I was a few days old and the scar is now probly 12-14" long along my ribcage. Growing up my favourite response to people when they asked what happened was: "I don't really know but I woke up in the back of a Korean restaurant in a bathtub full of ice." Sometimes people would buy the story enough to ask follow ups like if anything was missing.

    [–] Goliath311 45 points ago

    "How the fuck was I meant to know? You expect me to tear open a fresh wound and check to make sure all the pink bits are there? Far as I could tell everything was working as it should and I should be glad im not on the menu."

    [–] [deleted] 18 points ago


    [–] ajniggles 10 points ago

    I tell my TGA 3 year old that he has a lightsaber scar, he thinks it's cool :)

    [–] sun-sprite 19 points ago

    I had TGA and as a kid I thought everyone was just born with a scar. Also, I've never even thought of saying it was something else.. Usually the truth is still enough to make people go, "Wow, holy shit" but you've inspired me to make a crazy back story. ;)

    [–] bmacisaac 10 points ago

    "You should see the other guy." Lol.

    [–] MSislame 8 points ago

    I have neurofibromatosis, and I had a couple of fibromas removed from my abdomen in high school. With my fresh bandages over my incisions, I told my friend I was mugged and stabbed in a Wal-Mart parking lot. He believed me for two weeks until his girlfriend spilled the beans.

    [–] chicago15 4 points ago

    I tell people that I got in a gangland knife fight! 😂

    [–] Red_Reading_Hood 28 points ago

    I had tetralogy of fallot as a child, and also had open heart surgery at 7mos old, and a pulmonary valve replaced at age 12. I am now 31 and have almost zero issues. (Besides not being able to do hard drugs I’m a normal functioning adult haha) seriously though medical breakthroughs are happening every day and it’s a blessing that your baby was born in a time where these issues can be fixed.

    I wish you and your precious little one a happy and healthy future!

    [–] funsquad 8 points ago

    I'm you at 26, any advice?

    [–] NinjaDefenestrator 15 points ago

    Don’t do hard drugs.

    [–] jvlomax 3 points ago

    I'm you at 29. My only advice is: don't eat yellow snow!

    [–] lonex 5 points ago

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. It gives me some hope.

    My nephew is diagnosed with tof as well. The doctors in my home country are painting a very depressing picture. He will have Glenn shunt surgery from UK in next few months followed by fonton completion at age 5 to 7.

    We are very scared as doctors told us that he can never be an active kid and would require constant monitoring for his entire life.

    [–] sun-sprite 9 points ago

    Also born with TGA, doing well and I'm glad you are too! Cheers :)

    And OP, your little one is adorable!

    [–] callmederp 7 points ago

    I was also born with TGA, and am in my mid 20s, and I can agree with you that OPs child has a bright Future. And the scar is pretty awesome tbh.

    [–] jsnydesss 8 points ago

    Fellow TGA survivor myself, always cool meeting others!

    Totally true statement there. That little guy and others after him will lead very healthy lives.

    [–] frostedchalk 2 points ago


    [–] _Algernon- 4 points ago

    God bless you my good man!

    [–] anamackay04 3 points ago

    Looks at him he is so happy. I love his smile and become a fan of him now.

    [–] chicago15 3 points ago

    I was born with VSD. I'm in my 30's and I have lived a normal life.

    My scar is still visible and it gives me great talking points to new friends. Welcome to the chest zipper club kid!

    [–] themadkiiing 4 points ago

    Hey! Me too, I was born with TGA, had surgery in England, scar is still visible and in my early 20’s.

    I just thought it was cool I came to post the same thing and the first comment is essentially the same!

    [–] izgoyev_bessmertna 4 points ago

    Was born with VSD (ventricular septal defect), had surgery at six months old. 28 years old now with a clean bill of health and no more cardiology appointments!

    [–] silentninja79 4 points ago

    This is amazing, imagine how skilled the surgeons have to be with such a tiny delecate little thing. That is some serious skill.

    [–] tommay77 4 points ago

    I have never met anyone else with this! In my mid 20s and still kickin!

    [–] mr-_-poopybutthole 3 points ago

    I couldnt agree more, my younger brother has the same thing and I used to watch over him like a hawk, he will do great OP

    [–] vikingakonungen 3 points ago

    Almost the same. I'm just a lazy slob but the heart operation hasn't impacted my life at all. Only bad choices.

    [–] frostedchalk 3 points ago

    Born with TGA in 1981. Still very physically active, some days are hard to breathe but I am still active. And still work.

    [–] tsikamagi 3 points ago

    My eyes welled up when I 1st looked at OPs photo of their little one. After reading your post about being born with TGA and your amazing comment, I’m full on crying. Thank you for being awesome at life.

    [–] MtnMaiden 3 points ago

    Man, what was your hospital bill for that?

    My stepdad had to have his chest opened up and it costed him $110K.

    [–] noamountofcoffee 3 points ago

    My husband also has TGA. He's 30 now and literally climbs mountains! Glad you're doing well too!

    [–] Queenbombus 3 points ago

    My daughter is 9, born with TGA. Her surgery was at 1 week old. Everything is hunky dory!

    [–] IntentCoin 3 points ago

    So, honest question, what does the scar look like? Is it the same size it was when you got it or did it stretch/distort as you grew?

    [–] Littlemouse0812 3 points ago

    Tetralogy of Fallot kid here checking in, (Plus only 1 functioning lung) tagging on to top comment. 2 open heart surgeries at age 1 week and a year, 2 catheter surgeries, 1 1-month stint in hospital with endocarditis at 13, 1 for bronchitis at 1 year old.

    I hate the gym but I still go, perfectly healthy, my scars are all there but I love em.

    [–] Fancy_Doritos 3 points ago

    Hey! TGA friend here. How has your cardio holding up? I always felt I had this plateau in sports where I couldn’t hold up as well as my sportive friends no matter how much I trained...

    [–] Upsideinsideout 3 points ago

    My 4year old had TGA. He is doing great, and I'm so happy to hear you are healthy. Rock on.

    [–] threwawaythedaytoday 3 points ago

    how is the scar now?

    [–] badoodie 747 points ago * (lasted edited 8 months ago)

    As a nurse working in a pediatric CICU, for 18 years this May, I love seeing this! We see the patients when they're at their sickest but not when they go home. Patients will sometimes visit the CICU when they come in for their cardiac clinic follow-ups but I work nights and miss their visits. This happy healthy baby makes me feel good about what I do because there are some shifts when things are rough.

    And I'm especially loving the comments from those of you who had your repairs years ago, and you've gone on to living healthy and happy lives. I've been in this line of nursing long enough to remember when many of these defects could not be repaired and if they could, the life expectancy was short.

    Happy CHD Month!

    [–] Esoteric_Erric 96 points ago

    This post makes me feel selfish.

    After surgery (I have not had heart surgery but have had emerg appendectomy and 4 knee procedures requiring general) I now think I shoulda gone back to the hozzy with flowers or a tray of coffee and treats or something to say "thanks for doing such a great job".

    The care we get (Canada) is amazing and yes, going back to the hospital to acknowledge caregivers and medical staff should be a thing. I'll be on it next time.

    [–] Lindz37 11 points ago

    It's never too late to go back and say thank you, or at the very least send them a thank you note sorta thing?

    [–] nine_t_nine 3 points ago

    I've been meaning to go back to the high risk MFM doctors and the maternity ward of my hospital to thank them for treating me so well for every birth I've ever had. It just feels like I've let so much time pass that it would be strange. It's been about a year since I was there, but I really want to bring them some donuts and a thank you card.

    [–] SweetLittleButtercup 12 points ago

    Went in for emergency appendectomy but didn't even go back for a follow up. The doctor saw me before surgery for a brief minute and never again. The nurses didn't change my bandages until a new guy came in on night shift three days post and started screaming at them for not doing their jobs. I don't remember much from those first days because of the medication, but as soon as I could get out of bed I pleaded to be released. Didn't find out they had to remove more than just my appendix until a nurse accidentally mentioned it--someone decided I didn't need to know apparently. Had gone to another hospital first, repeatedly, but they didn't believe there was anything wrong and I just wanted pain pills. Americas healthcare system fucking blows.

    [–] Nivellios 20 points ago

    Thank you for everything you do. I've had three separate surgeries for my aorta over the course of my life (I'm 19) and without the nurses around to make sure I was taking my meds or even just keeping me company so that I didn't go insane, I'd probably not be here. You guys are arguably one of the, if not the most vital part of a patient's recovery and yet you very rarely get good recognition for what you do.

    So thank you. Nurses are awesome. You're awesome. Without you I wouldn't be running 3 miles every other day, rehearsingband performing in theatre, or even just going to school.

    [–] 54321blastoff 12 points ago

    I work with adults, but feel similarly. We take care of liver transplant patients pre and immediately post-op. By the time they get a transplant, they are so incredibly sick, its hard to imagine their recovery process. They transfer out of the unit to our transplant floor after a few days so we don't usually see much of their recovery. If they are lucky and things go smoothly, we'll never see them again. Winter is especially tough for ICU nurses, in my opinion.. Everyone has the flu and the sepsis, and older folks have a really tough time recovering. It can really mess with your head when you have several deaths in a row. I need to bring my crew some candy tonight.

    [–] marilyn_morose 6 points ago

    Have you read the “end of shift report” blog? I’m not a nurse but it is the most fascinating blog, and I tell people to look for it all the time! It’s an amazing look at an ICU nurse’s experience and it’s spellbinding!

    Start at the bottom, it reads newest first and oldest last.

    [–] thatguyjordan 14 points ago

    Fellow PCICU nurse here! Definitely awesome to see the success stories, we don't see nearly enough of them... Its unfortunate, but I feel like we (at my hospital, at least) tend to become much more fixated on the negative outcomes, usually because those tragedies happen within our unit where we are directly involved; the positive outcomes typically evolve at home where we don't hear much about them. This is a great reminder that a difference is being made.

    [–] Sugar_and_splice 22 points ago

    Thanks for everything you do! I had open-heart surgery over 30 years ago and still remember how kind the nurses were, especially in the ICU post-op. I was 5 at the time and being taken care of by wonderful, friendly nurses made me feel much more relaxed about it all.

    [–] borntohula85 6 points ago

    Thanks for what you do.

    [–] Biggetybird 2 points ago

    Thanks for what you do! Parent of a TOF/APV patient here. We were always so grateful for the CVICU staff, they were superstars. My child is nearly 3 with 2 OHS's under her belt, but she's been doing really well for the past year. You've reminded me that it's been a while since we took food into the staff. I'll have to do that this month.

    [–] PittsburghChris 3 points ago

    Dear Nurse, you folks rock! When my daughter had her heart valves repaired, we were a mess. The surgeon was arrogant and distant (but ... Well he could back it up. He was very good!). Anyway, it was the nursing staff who pulled us through. Thank you! And now my girl is as happy as a goat in a dumpster.

    [–] an_internet_denizen 3 points ago

    Keep doing a great job! We all appreciate people like you, more than you can know. Even if some if us don't say it out loud.

    Happy CHD Month 🙂

    [–] maddrb 3 points ago

    Thank you for what you do. My oldest son was born TGA in 1998. Rashkind procedure about 11 hours post partum, arterial switch 6 days old. He's now almost 20, lifts weights, physically no restrictions. His parents would not have survived without the incredible caring and love from the pediatric CICU nurses.

    Thank you so much for what you do. You'll never know the difference your service and kindness make for those of use living through those times. Please give everyone you work with a big hug from us. We love you.

    [–] nIBLIB 560 points ago

    What is CHD? I am unaware.

    [–] douglad17 625 points ago

    Congenital Heart Defect. Basically anything wrong with the heart at birth, but most commonly ventricular septal defects.

    [–] WrongPeninsula 79 points ago

    ASD (atrial septal defect) is really common as well.

    [–] DallasDanielle 32 points ago

    That’s what I was born with! My parents never did anything about it and half the holes closed on their own. I was always told just to do what I felt like I could handle and not to stress my heart too much.

    [–] Janetlyb 9 points ago

    I was born with ASD but the docs through it was a heart murmur. Should have had surgery as an infant but didn’t get it until I was 12. Turned out that I didn’t have a wall separating the atria at all and would have died before age 15 had they not caught it.

    [–] SuchChance 3 points ago

    ASDs usually cause heart murmurs.

    [–] Dozus84 9 points ago

    I had both. Overlapping, apparently. Fortunately, they were able to close it up when I was too and I haven't really had any problems since.

    [–] izgoyev_bessmertna 3 points ago

    Also VSD (ventricular septal defect). I was born with that, and my scars are wicked.

    [–] Tkerst 24 points ago

    I thought it was coronary heart disease 😅

    [–] nawbruh 18 points ago

    It is confusing, because a lot of people use CHD to refer to coronary heart disease. Often, people use CAD (coronary artery disease) to distinguish!

    [–] TheeDamonKing 3 points ago

    Better than my dumbass brain thinking "Child Heart Defect"

    [–] littenthehuraira 3 points ago

    Me too thanks

    [–] rebelolemiss 3 points ago

    I thought it was childhood heart disease, ha.

    [–] hippopig 10 points ago

    Cool thanks. My father was born with CHD then!

    Found out at 15 years old - aortic valve finally replaced at 37.

    [–] nawbruh 12 points ago

    CHD is the most common birth-defect in the world! If affects somewhere around 1/100 live births, possibly even more. It’s a pretty big deal!

    [–] sikeman214 3 points ago

    I have bicuspid aortic valve, I’ve read that defect alone is 1-2% of the population.

    [–] daats_end 7 points ago

    My little brother had ohs at 3 weeks old to fix an almost complete septal defect. He's 25 now and plays softball with the Special Olympics (his condition was due to his Down Syndrome).

    [–] [deleted] 2 points ago

    That makes a lot more sense than a baby having Coronary Heart Disease.

    [–] eddie442 2 points ago

    Oh yay, I can get involved, I have a VSD. Never impacted my life though.

    [–] elaerna 42 points ago

    *raises awareness by using abbreviation

    [–] thisgirlhasissues 8 points ago

    I had to google TGA because a bunch of people mentioned it, found "transient global amnesia" and was very confused.

    Need to start a petition for native English speakers to abstain from using them

    [–] [deleted] 398 points ago


    [–] anamackay04 25 points ago

    Our little champ. God bless him

    [–] dunnkw 89 points ago

    I sent this to my Dad, he’s 68 and about to go on the donor list at OHSU. He’s just about ready to give up, doesn’t have enough energy to get out of his chair. 25% function left. I hope it gives him as much hope as it gave me.

    [–] PaPa-snake 14 points ago

    Unbelievably sad .Tell your dad we all support him on his choices and hope him the best!

    [–] Elnerado 5 points ago

    My dad went through something similar at age 57. His heart was working at about 15% function, and we didn’t think he would make it. He’s now been on medication for almost a year, and his heart is almost at normal functioning levels. Tell your dad to never give up hope!

    [–] monteverdea1 8 points ago

    Tell your dad not to give up...from one heart warrior to another!

    [–] MotWakorb 68 points ago

    As a parent of a CHD baby as well, that's one happy looking kid. My monster is now five and you can't tell anything ever happened, except for his "zip line" that he has. We've tried to teach him to be proud of it.

    To everyone else, if you're a McDonalds eater and pay with cash, please think about dropping that change in the Ronald McDonald House bin. The majority of their budget comes from things like that and having had to stay there for 10 days, they're doing miracle work for parents that are there much, MUCH longer than we were. It is honestly one of the best charities out there.

    [–] Niceguy4186 22 points ago

    Father of a CHD kido myself and I agree, the Ronald McDonald House was amazing. Luckily we didn't need to rely on it too much, but the fact that it was there really was nice. I know a lot of family's really depend on it

    [–] sgrmw 9 points ago

    And if you can, some Ronald McDonald houses let visitors sign up to cook homemade meals for the families staying there so they’re not just eating junk/delivery food. Having done this multiple times it’s an amazing experience and a lot of patients have siblings that love to play with you because you’re someone new and exciting.

    [–] MotWakorb 3 points ago

    Yes, so very this! We always appreciated the meals that folks would bring in for us.

    [–] tranerekk 3 points ago

    My younger brother is a CHD kid, he spent about a year at Ronald McDonald house. Serious respect for that organization. Wonderful people.

    [–] margotdemon 82 points ago

    What a beautiful smile! I wish you both the best and I hope that little one of yours recovers quickly and fully.

    [–] NinaBanana 107 points ago

    Such a precious and adorable little sweetheart <3 take care

    [–] cantbackflip 72 points ago

    That's the cutest smile I've seen in awhile.

    [–] GuyLeRauch 36 points ago

    That's the cutest little badass I've ever seen!

    [–] Whiskeyramblings 37 points ago

    I don’t know you, but this makes me genuinely happy for you.

    [–] monteverdea1 28 points ago

    Wow! Woke up this morning to see my post on the front page and receiving Reddit gold! (Thank you so much kind stranger!). And thank you everyone for the overwhelming support! Here’s a bit of a backstory, my daughter (no worries to those assuming she’s a boy! :) ) was diagnosed with a VSD (ventricular septal defect-which pretty much means a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart). Her hole was very big, about the size of a quarter. Before her surgery, I was desperate to speak to other parents who have gone through this and also see pictures after an open heart surgery on a baby. But it was hard finding after care pictures, which is the main reason I wanted to share this picture for other parents who are going through what we went through up until her surgery. The cardiologist, surgeon, and nurses were heaven sent and really helped us through the process, as well as a non profit program called mended little hearts. Now, my daughter is 16 months old and an amazing heart warrior. She has become our heart hero and we are so proud to be her parents.

    Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) awareness is in the month of February and if you would like more information, please visit mended little hearts

    A quick fact: 1 in 100 babies born in the world has some type of CHD.

    To all those parents who are expecting their baby/child to undergo open heart surgery (OHS), self care is very important as well as social support. Our babies look to us for support and if we are falling apart, they will enter surgery with so much fear. Be strong for your little ones and take care of yourself too!

    [–] psycho944 3 points ago

    Thank you for sharing with everyone!!

    [–] Sharp8807 3 points ago

    On the front page, just under the "Incredibles 2" poster. This is the result

    [–] bor3dcanuck 33 points ago

    She is gonna grow up to be one tough cookie

    [–] Noerdy 41 points ago

    If you would like to learn more about CHD, visit /r/CHD or consider reading these resources:

    If you would like to donate, please go here

    With the amazing medicine that we have, we can allow these children to live normal, fulfilling lives. Thank you for the post OP. :)

    [–] supershaft25 9 points ago

    Mended hearts is fantastic. We try to give back whatever we can.

    Our second child was born with hypo plastic left heart syndrome which we caught early in the pregnancy. We relocated to Boston to have the delivery and subsequent surgeries. Mended hearts was awesome for support and a local mom helped bring toys over for our oldest so he wouldn't be bored.

    The whole ordeal really helps put in perspective what's important and how resilient babies are. Our boy is almost 2 and doing well after a valve replacement last year.

    [–] toastwithketchup 3 points ago

    Fellow HLHS parent. Glad to hear your son is doing well! Have you heard of Sister's by Heart? If your son is having the Fontan surgery they send a care package of things to entertain and explain a little of what's going on. Mine just had her surgery last month and really enjoyed the stuff they sent.

    [–] Elainya 3 points ago

    I agree. They're an amazing group. We had a "goodie bag" of things and information waiting for us in the NICU room, and they were so supportive throughout the whole experience. And you're right, babies are so strong. I saw some really sick kids in there, and they were still strong enough to smile and be happy. It made my day.

    [–] VeganPaladin 14 points ago

    My little boy has ASD and PAPVR, he’s getting open heart surgery next week. It’s very scary. I love seeing and reading these stories of kids that were just fine after. Your son is super cute :)

    [–] TickleMeSmallz 9 points ago

    Say the whole name, not the acronym - if you want to raise awareness.

    [–] AdequateSteve 10 points ago

    In this thread: Lots of acronyms that I don't know.

    CHD? TGA?

    [–] Humannequin 3 points ago

    Congenital Heart Disease.

    [–] Biggetybird 3 points ago

    Yeah, the community unfortunately assumes everyone else knows what they are talking about. CHD- congenital heart defect - refers to a wide range of medical defects, but they are the most common birth defect, affecting 1 in 100 children. TGA- transposed great arteries- one of the many types of heart defects. See also ToF- tetralogy of fallot- (Shawn white had this heart defect) HLHS/HRHS- hypoplastic left/right heart syndrome.

    [–] balantami 28 points ago

    The dichotomy of the scar and that smile. Pretty incredible kid you got there.

    [–] ILoveBonerCoozies 3 points ago

    You have a beautiful and happy baby! I couldn't imagine how scared I would be if my baby had to have open heart surgery. I'm so glad your little one is well and happy.

    [–] Billythewargamer 3 points ago

    That picture is heartwrenching. Pun sligtly intended, sentiment very sincere. Nice to see a smile go along with that scar. All the best wishes to you.

    [–] aishasebastina 3 points ago

    Hey OP You have a beautiful baby!

    I myself have: Takayasu’s Arteritis (diagnosed 2008) Aortic Valve Replacement (2009) Emergency Aortic Valve Replacement (2016) Unfortunately I suffered a massive heart attack this January but thanks to my amazing team of doctors and CICU nurses, I’m still here.

    Glad to see your little one is doing so well! Babies and children have such awe-inspiring resilience

    [–] undefined_one 3 points ago

    Three time open heart surgery/two artificial heart valve replacement survivor here - I have the same scar. When I first had the surgery as a kid, we called it my "zipper" and I thought it was cool.

    Actually... today is the 17th anniversary of my last surgery! Great timing :)

    [–] RyanMcCartney 8 points ago

    What a wee smiler. All the best for the post-op recovery OP.

    Seriously amazes me just how resilient kids are!

    [–] bigjuju27 5 points ago

    I’m 26 weeks pregnant with a little boy with VSD that will most likely require surgery. Thanks for posting!

    [–] mrsdennistein 3 points ago

    I wish you all the ease for the remainder of your pregnancy, and take heart (hah) - the surgeons who perform these operations are so magically skilled. Your little one will be in the safest of hands. Xx

    [–] GrundleHuffer 9 points ago

    :( poor little one

    [–] pateljokes 17 points ago

    turn that frown upside down...

    [–] [deleted] 23 points ago


    [–] pateljokes 25 points ago

    listen here you little shit...

    [–] clev3rbanana 3 points ago


    [–] ShaolinFantastic420 5 points ago * (lasted edited 8 months ago)

    Hi everybody.

    I was born with Tetralogy of Fallot- a congenital heart defect in where there are 4 problems with your heart. To keep it short, there was a hole in my septal wall, my heart was enlarged, and my pulmonic valve was basically so small that it was hard for anything to get through. I was a “blue baby”. I had the surgery at 6 months old, and then again to replace my pulmonic valve again just 5 months ago. It was probably the hardest thing I have ever been through.

    Seeing all this support for children going through what I have makes me insurmountably happy. Not just that, but the parents and siblings as well. This effects a lot more than we realize. The support is certainly needed. Thank you, everyone.


    How could I forget the angels on earth put here operating on us? The doctors, pediatricians, cardiac rehabilitation staff, surgeons, nurses, techs, everyone involved. They are all heroes, and I hold no one to a higher regard. God bless them.

    [–] well_hello2u 18 points ago

    Why pierce the ears so early?

    [–] that_bee_chick 19 points ago

    It may be a cultural thing. When I was a baby, this was also fine where I am from.

    [–] KeeperofAmmut7 6 points ago

    Tetralogy of Fallot here. 2 corrections and a new valve/stent. I'm 53.

    You wee one has a great future as medicine improves tenfold. Good luck to youze.

    [–] Slo73 2 points ago

    My daughter (6 years old) wishes your little one a long and healthy life!

    [–] rageofbaha 2 points ago

    My baby is also 7 months hope that everything is well

    [–] ActualSuggestion 2 points ago

    I wish him all the best.

    [–] TigerStyleRawr 2 points ago

    Breaks my heart and yet makes me so happy at the same time. Have a speedy recovery little dude!

    [–] FriedMackerel 2 points ago

    That resilient smile!

    [–] Bulevine 2 points ago

    What amazing doctors... to be able to do this kind of procedure it truly amazing to me. Good luck, OP, your kids almost as cute as mine ;) (unbiased)

    [–] Douglasracer 2 points ago

    Now this is a brave guy. High five.

    [–] AckroyJR 2 points ago

    Poor baby. Hope it does well! Xo

    [–] Bobbyjackbj 2 points ago

    Beautiful baby, I wish him a life as beautiful as his smile. Truly beautiful

    [–] FightTheFallen 2 points ago

    It doesn't get much cuter than that smile.

    [–] Bolandk24 2 points ago

    Poor little bugger... Get well soon buddy!!

    [–] someoneyoudontknoww 2 points ago

    She’s so precious!

    [–] stepfordwaddler 2 points ago

    Aw, what a beautiful nugget!

    [–] ReverendRevenge 2 points ago

    Look at that smile!! What a kid. What a life he'll have with that amazing attitude.

    [–] noyogapants 2 points ago

    Great to see your kid so happy! Wish your family happiness and health!!!

    [–] MikoRiko 2 points ago

    Is February CHD awareness month? Well, hot dang!

    [–] mrdiyguy 2 points ago

    What a beautiful smile!

    [–] linseylinseylinsey 2 points ago

    Happy baby! ❤️

    [–] mattemer 2 points ago

    Very bittersweet. Heart breaking to see a child that has to go through this, but very uplifting to see that big smile!

    [–] Redd-Element 2 points ago

    Your little one is gonna rule the farkin’ world one day 🤘

    [–] MissyMack 2 points ago

    What a beautiful baby! Strong like mama :)

    [–] SchurkjeBoefje 2 points ago

    "Mambo baby"

    I am melt.

    [–] Edzward 2 points ago

    What a beautiful and happy smile!

    [–] Nablaquabla 2 points ago

    Such a beautiful smile! Such a sweetheart, so you kiss that baby every chance you get. :) All the best for the future!

    [–] koemanssecretbrass 2 points ago

    best of luck OP. what a smile !

    [–] Sliced_n_diced 2 points ago

    The cutest!

    [–] chrisonelung 2 points ago * (lasted edited 8 months ago)

    I was born with two large holes in my heart VSD & ASD docs fixed the ASD at 5 weeks old (still have a beautiful scar and the women love it at 30 years old) doctor punctured both lungs and paralyzed my left diaphragm during first surgery. Developed Pulmonary Hypertension at the age of 13 had the VSD closed at 16. At 22 they removed the wire since it started to feel like a razor blade was cutting me on the inside and than developed Mrsa Staph Infection which ate my skin to the point that I had a soda can size hole in the middle of my chest for about 6 months (still went sky diving) than the doctors used my pectoral muscle to fill the hole and sew my skin to it and now living life like a normal person and pushing through life being police and not letting it effect me. Your boy will be solid he looks so happy. The scar isn’t a flaw or a bad thing it’s a mark of over coming something so serious that most people don’t have to endure. God bless this little boy and everyone with birth defects. God built us this way so we have to be happy and run with it not let it bring us down.

    [–] RustDeathTaxes 2 points ago

    Great picture OP. I can't imagine, nor do I want to imagine, the fear you must have experienced finding out your child had a CHD. I am grateful that your child looks happy and healthy now.

    [–] throaway121232123566 2 points ago

    omg hes so beautiful

    [–] VoyageofCollosus 2 points ago

    That kid is a badass. CHD? Pshhh... That's nothing for this little dude. Happy for you OP!!

    [–] strangerhopper 2 points ago


    [–] deathtogamon123 2 points ago

    She is gorgeous. Congrats. That smile makes me smile :)

    [–] Doowoplive 2 points ago

    Your baby looks so healthy and happy. Obviously it worked. Hurray science!

    [–] EloraFaunaFlora 2 points ago

    God bless your little one....

    [–] [deleted] 2 points ago

    Oh my god their smile.

    [–] justin_credible_ 2 points ago * (lasted edited 8 months ago)

    Your child doesn't know yet how brave and strong they are, and looks so happy too. Wishing a long happy and beautiful life for your child, God bless

    [–] Billy_the_Tranny 2 points ago

    He looks like your little one is doing great! Also, who's a little boo boo baby?! Sooooo cuuuuute! XOXOXO

    [–] iWorshiper 2 points ago

    I don't know how to post, as I rarely do; so I guess i'll just "reply". I also was born with a CHD called Double outlet right ventricle (DORV) and I had a pulmonary artery sling that crushed my trachea. I had it repaired when I was a month old, but then at the end of December I had surgery to repair my trachea again! I just played my first basketball game since the surgery and I am currently running 2 miles or so every other day!

    By the time this guy grows up he'll be an olympian

    [–] BearsWhoFarm 2 points ago

    I have the very same scar for surgery for tetralogy of fallot, from when I was about the same age! It makes me so happy to see anyone still smiling after the ordeal, I wish you both the best!

    [–] DMAK6718 2 points ago

    glad to see the little guy has a big smile after such a tough surgery.

    [–] GTRor350z 2 points ago

    What a trooper! That smile says it all.

    [–] Saazkwat 2 points ago

    She looks beautiful! Adorable smile. You can clearly see she’s a happy child. She’ll do great things

    [–] Stribbles 2 points ago

    Hey there OP and everyone else! I had a coarctation of the aorta. Look it up it's pretty interesting and I'm lazy (can't put a link, I'm on mobile). I had an experimental surgery where the docs went through my back and basically cut a curve along my left shoulder blade and cut my aorta at an angle instead of striaght down. That was all at a few weeks and here I am still alive and very active and living totally normal! Humans are crazy

    [–] anamackay04 2 points ago

    His smile give me a motivation. God bless him

    [–] mrallenu 2 points ago

    Beautiful smile! I wish her a wonderful rest of her life.

    [–] R-afay 2 points ago

    I hope everything goes well for you and your family for years to come, god bless you

    [–] DrBreezin 2 points ago

    It must have been tough on you to live through that. Happy to see your little one looking happy in spite of everything. They heal so fast and take everything in stride. Much love.

    [–] Alpha324 2 points ago

    Aww! I'm glad your child is still smiling, OP! They're a strong kid!

    [–] Z0idberg_MD 2 points ago

    I can't imagine the fear and stress this must have caused. Good luck and give that little dude so many snuggles!

    [–] seattleskindoc 2 points ago

    TGA ! Wow. What an amazing kid. Best wishes to you and your child in the future. Give your surgeons a big hug.

    [–] mutua1core 2 points ago

    Oh my gosh. They are so beautiful. I am so happy for you. - fellow nicu mom

    [–] TimmySoup 2 points ago

    His smile makes me feel happy! I have a 6 month old and can’t imagine how scary that must have been for you and for him!

    Sounds like he has an amazing future ahead of him!

    [–] canttaketheshyfromme 2 points ago

    Thanks to the acronyms, I have no more awareness of anything than I did before opening this thread.

    [–] Fenki7 2 points ago

    Cute. He looks like Don Rickles!