Scott Leezer, our VP Government Relations, spoke about the impact of the Fontan Blood Pump at the Bella of the Ball event held on March 22, 2019.
Proceeds from the event support vital scientific research and access to life-saving treatments — all of which are designed to produce a working Fontan Blood Pump, a device that would act as the missing ventricle in single ventricle hearts. This innovation would replace the need for heart transplants in those born with this condition.
Beats for Bella is a nonprofit organization raising awareness for congenital heart defects (CHD) through the story of Bella Borkowski, who was born with a severe congenital heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome in 2013. Beats for Bella educates the public about CHD and supports research projects to increase options for those afflicted with this condition.
Annually, over 40,000 babies are born with a congenital heart defect, making CHD one of the most common birth defects in the world. About one in four babies born with a CHD will need surgery or other procedures within their first year of life. As treatments and medical care continue to advance, infants with CHD are living longer, healthier lives into adulthood.
Scott is particularly passionate about this cause and this foundation because of his personal diagnosis with single ventricle heart defect. He is one of the oldest people living with this condition and has undergone five open heart surgeries — but this doesn’t stop him! Scott works tirelessly as a strong patient advocate for CHD, which is one of the many reasons he received the PRWeek Most Purposeful Agency Pro Award in October 2019.