Family Working to Raise Awareness of Congenital Heart Defects - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Family Working to Raise Awareness of Congenital Heart Defects after Losing Baby Boy

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A local family is trying to get through the loss of their baby boy. So, they are spreading the word and raising awareness about congenital heart defects. A local family is trying to get through the loss of their baby boy. So, they are spreading the word and raising awareness about congenital heart defects.

KENNEWICK, WA -  A local family is trying to get through the loss of their baby boy. So, they are spreading the word and raising awareness about congenital heart defects.

Aneyssa Barreras was excited to bring baby Ezekiel home after he was born earlier this month, but just seconds after Ezekiel's birth nurses filled the room and he was not crying.

"I just got my son's nursery set up expecting to bring him home and I was getting so excited and just to be told that there's nothing they can do. I just don't want to believe it, it's unexplainable, I've never felt that pain before," Barerras said. 

Baby Ezekiel was flown to a Seattle hospital, but only 23 hours after his birth Ezekiel died of a congenital heart defect.

"[It's] unexpected and it's the worst thing ever, that's way we want to really raise awareness because we knew nothing about this ever, I've never heard anything about it so you know, we don't want people to feel the hurt that we've been feeling," she added. 

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect in the country. It affects about one percent of births every year. It is also the leading cause of death among infants.

Adriana Barerras said she is heartbroken to see the pain her sister is going through.

"God teaches you to give even when you don't have a lot to give, we just lost our nephew but that's not going to stop us, we're going to raise awareness for him and we're going to help others because that's what God wants us to do," she said. 

Saturday and Sunday the family held a car wash to raise funds for a memorial in the Walgreen parking on in Kennewick off of 395. Part of the donations will also go to a charity they have not chosen yet but they want to spread the word that tests are available during pregnancy to check for heart defects.

"We know through Ezekiel, he's going to raise congenital heart defect awareness and that's what he was brought here for," concluded Aneyssa Barerras. 

The family has set up a fund at US Bank under the name "Ezekial Memorial Fund". 

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