Rita and Victoria Scoggins.
Rita Scoggins: “Until 1983, my knowledge of congenital heart defects was pretty much nonexistent. I knew something about holes in the heart, but I never imagined that a baby could be born with important parts of the heart missing. When our daughter was born, my family was suddenly thrust into this new world, the world of closed and open-heart surgery performed on babies with hearts the size of a walnut. In 1994 I was finally able to connect with other heart parents through this new thing called the Internet. Since that time I have tried to offer help support, information, and hope to other parents starting and traveling on this heart journey. Last year, Victoria decided to do something to raise awareness about congenital heart defects. That is how the Wear Purple campaign started.”
Victoria Scoggins: “I was born on March 31, 1983. I was 1 month old before my parents knew I had a heart defect. After confirming I had lost weight, the doctor took a chest x-ray. The next morning we saw a pediatric cardiologist and I was diagnosed with tricuspid atresia, hypoplastic right ventricle, coarctation of the aorta and ventricular and atrial septal defects. I was also in heart failure. We flew to Houston that night and I had a subclavian repair for my coarctation and my pulmonary artery was banded. The next several years we put off the Fontan Procedure until it was no longer considered experimental and I was older and bigger. Before having the Fontan, I was in ballet, tap and musical performance, just like my cousin. I had a hard time keeping up with my peers. In high school I joined the marching band, like my middle brother had done. I marched my Freshman-Junior years. I have a Master’s Degree in Health care Administration and have worked with the Veterans Health Administration for 5 years.”