Carleigh weighed a sturdy 10 pounds at birth, with full cheeks and blue eyes.

We took her home and she brought with her a steady stream of fears and feedings, hopes and diaper changes, moments of exhaustion and loving visitors. In short—Carleigh gave us the joyous and challenging life all new parents experience.

But at two weeks old all this changed as Carleigh began to experience difficulty breathing and eating.

We rushed Carleigh to Cohen’s Medical Center, where we learned our daughter needed open heart surgery to have even the slightest chance of survival.

During her 13-hour operation doctors learned Carleigh was born with several congenital heart defects – one pumping chamber instead of two, an artery blocked from supplying blood to her body, two arterial chambers instead of four.

Undiagnosed and untreated for two full weeks, Carleigh’s heart defects weakened her body. She died during surgery.

A Question, An Answer

We couldn’t help but wonder – if Carleigh had been diagnosed earlier and treated immediately would she have survived?

We created the Carleigh Mac Foundation to find out.

Carleigh’s Foundation gives doctors the ability to diagnose heart defects in children—both in utero during the early stages of pregnancy and after a baby is born. Since our daughter passed away 16 years ago, the Carleigh Mac Foundation has raised over $2 million in her memory and has supplied cutting-edge pediatric cardiology technology for North Shore LIJ Hospital, saving and improving the lives of countless children in dire need of care.

Through her foundation Carleigh lives on, and your support deepens the footprint her brief life leaves on this world.

Here is a retrospective of Carleigh Mac throughout the years: