Welcome to Baby Hearts Press!

Baby Hearts Press is an independent publishing company that has been providing books and resources for the congenital heart defect (CHD) community since 1997. Owner and founder, Anna Jaworski, is the mother of a young adult with the complex congenital heart defect known as hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). She is the author of two books, editor of two books, a contributor to a number of books as well as a public speaker and internet talk radio show host of Heart to Heart with Anna.

Book Reviews

Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome: A Handbook for Parents

Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome

Edited by: Anna Marie Jaworski

Illustrated by: Frank Jaworski, R.N.

Foreword by: John Calhoon, M.D.

Baby Hearts Press

ISBN: 0-9652508-6-5

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Readers have posted the following reviews at amazon.com:

June 7, 1999 - Misty Mayfield from Charleston, SC:

This book was given to me by a hospital administrator 2 weeks after my son underwent the Norwood operation. My husband and I had spent the last 3 weeks studying the Internet, and books that were made available to us by the nurses, and found nothing that explained Colin's defect the way this book did. Not only that, but we were hard-pressed to find stories of other children with HLHS. Mrs. Jaworski's book provided us with a bit of inspiration that had been unavailable to us before.

May 4, 1999 - a reader from Clemson South Carolina:

I found this book through my local library after the death of my son Cameron, he was only 12 days old. After his death we were told he had HLHS. If we had been aware of his condition I think your book would have been one of the best places for us to find information.

January 22, 1999 - A reader from Victoria, Canada

Our baby is due in May,1999. This past Christmas we received the painful news that our little boy has HLHS. In the midst of our confusion, shock, and pain we continue to seek information as we strive to deep our understanding of HLHS and as we prepare for what lies ahead. This book has proven to be an invaluable companion. If you are expecting a child with HLHS this is one book you will want to have. If you know someone who is expecting a baby with HLHS consider this book as a gift - they will certainly appreciate it.

From the Congenital Heart Disease Resource Page:

Anna Jaworski and her husband Frank Jaworski, R.N. have put together a valuable resource for parents who are faced with their child having hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Based on their own experiences with their son, Anna first takes you through her personal experiences and emotions. The book then goes on to discuss the different options parents must consider: surgery, transplantation, or doing nothing. The book also goes into details about the different procedures, what to expect before and after surgery, what social services are available, and gives diagrams to illustrate the defects and corrective procedures. This book is a must for any parent needing to make the difficult decisions about the care of their child.

My Brother Needs and Operation

My Brother Needs and Operation

Written by: Anna Marie Jaworski

Illustrated by: Linda Ball

Baby Hearts Press, 1999

ISBN: 0-9652508-2-2

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From Midwest Book Review, March 25, 2003

I want to exalt Anna Jaworski for writing one of the most thoughtful books that I have read in a very long time. Inspired when her son Alex had to be hospitalized for open-heart surgery, the author saw the trauma on her other son, Joey, and realized there was a need not being addressed in this area.Her work has met this need with flying colors. Of course when a child must undergo an operation, we all zero in our attention and affection on them, and we should. However, without meaning to, we often forget the other children in the family and do not realize the emotional conflicts that they are encountering. This book will open your eyes to their feelings.

From Birth to Three Parenting Newsletter, January/February 2000

After a brief background about Joey and his family, we learn that Alex, Joey's younger brother, must have an operation, and mother needs to accompany him to the hospital and stay with him. The adults in Joey's life help him learn to cope with his anxieties and emotions, and, as the story unfolds, the child listening to the story has an opportunity to discuss his own feelings with someone who loves him. It is helpful that the reason for Alex's hospitalization is not mentioned so the adult reading the story can provide the child's personal details.

Anna Marie Jaworski's presentation is simple and direct. She provides parents and other caregivers with important information about what is taking place developmentally and suggests ways to meet the child's needs and provide comfort and support. As the adult reads the story to the child, Jaworski includes questions for the unhospitalized child to answer to personalize the situation and help the child understand what is taking place. At the end of the book, there are activities for the unhospitalized child to do to create a scrapbook of the event.

From Central Florida Family Magazine, November 1999

A gentle story about Joey's emotions when his little brother, Alex, must go with Mom to the hospital for an operation. The procedure is never mentioned, but it doesn't have to be. This book deals with the feelings of loss and anxiety the young boy feels without his mom and baby brother. Author Jaworski offers helpful suggestions for parents and guardians thrust into a similarly delicate situation. Despite the best efforts of dad and several relatives, Joey must realize on his own that his prayers and his actions have much to do with his own comfort during the lengthy, confusing time spent away from mom and brother.

Illustrations by Linda Ball help to move the story along with caring and affection. The issue is one many families face at one time or another and the author does an excellent job of conveying the delicate message in a non-frightening way for parents and children alike.

The Heart of a Mother

The Heart of a Mother

Edited by Anna Marie Jaworski

Foreword by Edward L. Bove, M.D.

Baby Hearts Press, 1999

ISBN: 0-9652508-1-4

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Readers have posted the following reviews at amazon.com:

Vicki (Vancouver, Canada) - August 26, 2001

This is a book that all moms of children with heart defects should read at some time in their lives. It contains essays from "real moms" and their journeys with their "heart children". At times I thought I was reading about my own experiences of living with and caring for a child with a serious heart defect. It validated the feelings that I have and comforted me in knowing that I am not the only one going through this. Many of these essays will have you in tears, but others will have you experience the same joy these families have felt watching their children grow up into healthy, happy, productive adults, and to know that it can happen for my child is inspiring.

Matthew and Leanna Watson (California) - February 19, 2000

You will no doubt be bombarded by medical information when you have a child with a congenital heart defect. While this info is crucial to making decisions about your child's medical care, it will not prepare you for the emotional journey of parenting a child with a CHD. This book helped me look forward for my son's future and remember the children we knew who didn't make it. Also look at www.tchin.org and www.babyheartspress.com. Good luck and may the angels watch over you as they have us....

Debbie Gilmore (Germany) - December 14, 1999

How does having a child with a Congenital heart defect change your life? Heart of A Mother may have the answers you are looking for. Armed with the information that my son Matthew had a congenital heart defect I went in search of answers. I couldn't find any books that dealt with this subject from a Mother's standpoint. I wanted to know how it would effect our family life. I had heard the medical statistics and now I wanted to know from other Mother's how their children grew and developed. What can Matthew achieve? Should you question the doctors or do you just blindly follow them? I had hundreds of questions that only another mother, father, grandparent or child could help me with. Anna's book contains over 61 heartfelt stories written by people like you and me, carefully woven together by Anna to form the book Heart of A Mother.

From Central Florida Family Magazine, February 2000

Parents of children with congenital heart defects don't need a holiday to remind them about love. Anna Marie Jaworski, author of The Heart of a Mother Baby Hearts Press, $25), provides heartwarming stories of the relationships between these parents and their children, some of whom died young while others grew to function quite naturally as adults despite their birth defects. One mother, Carolyn Wise, was born with a ventricular defect that developed in Eisenmenger's Syndrome, causing damage to her lungs. Unable to give birth because of her health problem, she and her husband adopted children who became the loves of their lives. She shares a poem with her son and daughter, which resonates with parents regardless of the circumstances of birth:

Not flesh of my flesh,

Nor bone of my bone,

But still, miraculously my own.

Never forget for a single minute,

That you didn't grow under my heart,

But in it.

Author Jaworski, whose 4-year-old son, Alexander, has survived two open-heart surgeries, offers this book as a written support group for parents, with more than 80 stories compiled throughout the Internet from countries all over the world.

From Twinsworld, Winter Edition 1999

The Heart of a Mother is a compilation of wisdom contributed by sixty-one mothers of children with congenital heart defects from all over the world. these mothers have suffered through their children's diagnoses, their surgeries and hospitalizations and the day-to-day living that accompanies being the parent of a special child. These mothers share their words of guidance, their insights and their hope for the future as they recount their own stories. The focus of this book is on parents of children with heart problems; however,the deep and mature understanding provided will be helpful for any family with a child in great medical difficulty. Bonnie Munden contributed to the book by writing about one of her twin granddaughters, Caitlin, who has a life-threatening heart defect.

The Heart of a Father

The Heart of a Mother

Edited by Anna Marie Jaworski and Bob Daigneault

Foreword by Ray Fedderly, M.D.

Baby Hearts Press, 2009

ISBN: 0-9652508-3-0

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Readers have posted the following reviews at amazon.com:

Shirley Priscilla Johnson - July 2, 2009

If I were to give this book a title I could not think of a better one than it already has. "The Heart of a Father," totally describes what you will find inside the pages of this powerful work. I don't think for most of mankind anything is closer to our hearts than our children and grandchildren. We strive to give them a good life, to protect them, nurture them and enjoy watching them grow into productive adults. But what happens when something takes control of their lives and we have no power to stop it? That is what this book is about, and more.

Inside this book we will learn about CHD (congenital heart defects) and the devastating effects this enemy has on the children, and those who love them. The information acquired by this alone is worth reading this work, however, it goes deeper than that. This book goes literally into the heart of the matter, into the hearts of fathers and grandfathers of children who battle this enemy everyday of their lives. Think about it, even when your child gets a simple cold, or the flu, your world is stopped until it passes, but what happens when you don't know when or if the sickness attacking your child will ever stop? Thus is the case with CHD, a problem that is an ongoing battle.

The words in this book are heart words from fathers and grandfathers across the globe who are now, or have been in the clutches of this battle with the child they love. In their stories you will experience their joys at victories, their fear of failure, and at times their brokenness of defeat. They are bare and honest in their telling, sharing the frustration of standing by as a role of protector of family, and the complete feeling of helplessness they experience as the life of a child is taken away, and the battle is lost.

By Ian Berry - June 10, 2009

This book touches the heart in more ways than can be counted. It is all about men and their dealings with congenital heart defects (CHD's) either of their own or of their children. I have had tears in my eyes several times as I have read these very touching essays. Anna has done a super job collecting some very emotional stories that offer insight and understanding for those of us facing such terrible situations. Bravo, gentlemen, Bravo! Thank you for sharing your personal accounts.

Thomas M. Bradley - December 29, 2009

When you think of heroes, we normally picture soldiers overseas, police officers in the line of duty, or even fire fighters amidst the flames. Sometimes we picture warriors fighting evil, like Hercules fighting the hydra. The Heart of a Father represents new heroes. It represents heroes unable to fight but by will power alone. It represents the heroes who will never remember their actions so much except by the words of others. The Heart of Father tells the stories of countless children who fight the battle against heart defects, these stories are told threw the father, who is a hero none the less, throwing his will to his new born child to be strong. Each page presents new obstacles to handle and the difficulties that go with it. The perception is unique, not many stories tells in the view of a father. Usually fathers are close off and reserved about themselves and their family. Each story tell the father's trials in overcoming this very unique situation. I would recommend this book for everyone.

Readers have posted the following reviews at BarnesandNoble.com:

IBerry - June 10, 2009

Anna Jaworski has pulled essays from 50 men from around the globe to share their dealings with congenital heart defects (CHD's). They have written personal accounts of life with their own or their children's heart defects. Some are tragic and others are uplifting. All provide deep insight into this all too common world of pitfalls and roller coaster rides of emotions and reality. These men have found the strength to share very difficult memories with the public to help educate fathers and prevent similar problems. It is an emotional read but much needed. Be prepared, have lots of tissues on hand.

blurose_26 - August 2, 2009

I am not a father of a child with CHD but i am a sister. I read this and it reminded me of what it was like with my sister who has HLHS. To me it was like seeing my sister through all those essays. My dad is one of those contributors to this book. This book gave me some insight into the kind of father that he is and was to me. Thank you Anna for letting me see this in him.

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