Community to walk for better heart health

Published 12:01 am Friday, November 2, 2007

NATCHEZ — Friends, family and heart and stroke survivors will come together Saturday to rally for better heart health.

The Miss-Lou American Heart Walk will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the downtown riverbanks gazebo. Registration will begin at 8 a.m., followed by opening ceremonies at 8:30 a.m.

The walk is sponsored by the American Heart Association, which has the goal of reducing coronary heart disease, stroke and associated risk by 25 percent by 2010 through research, education and advocacy.

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The fundraising goal of the Miss-Lou event is $55,000.

The poster child for this year’s event is Aiden Layne Huff, the son of Keith and Angie Huff, of Natchez.

Aiden was born in January, but has been had to live with congenital heart defects — having only two chambers instead of four in his heart — since birth.

Aiden had surgeries in July and August.

“The first surgery was supposed to repair the heart, but the doctor got into it and about an hour and a half in decided the heart was just too small,” Angie Huff said.

The doctor then did a procedure that essentially rerouted the blood in the upper part of Aiden’s body to give that part of his heard some rest.

“It was kind of like a bypass,” Angie Huff said.

The second surgery was to correct a condition Aiden has where his organs are flip-flopped, and resulted in his appendix — which was on the wrong side of the body — being removed.

“His heart and stomach are kind of midline (in his body),” Angie Huff said. “It made it where his intestines were jumbled up.”

Aiden has a future surgery scheduled for sometime between his first and second birthdays that Angie said she hopes will do the repair the initial surgery was supposed to.

But all of this hasn’t gotten Aiden down, Angie Huff said.

“He’s just about to crawl, and he is just as normal as normal can be,” she said. “With so many kids who have what he has, a lot of them are underweight or they can’t eat except through a tube, but he hasn’t had that problem.”

“He’s very friendly and he likes to jibber-jabber,” she said. “He has hit every milestone on time.”