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School event set to honor Franklin

Cumberland County Elementary School (CCES) will host Jump Rope for Heart on Feb. 28 for a CCES second grader, Derek Franklin. According to Glenda Grubbs, a CCES physical education teacher, Franklin is a Congenital Heart Defect survivor.

“He was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, a complex defect where the left heart is undeveloped, with variables, meaning he has other defects,” Grubbs said. “One in 110 babies are born with some type of this defect which is lifelong — surgery is not a cure.”

She said Franklin’s case is severe.

“The variables include a Ventricular Septal Defect, (which means there’s a) hole between the heart’s lower chambers, and Atrial Septal Defect, (which is a) hole between the heart’s upper chambers,” Grubbs said. “Derek also has no mitral valve, this valve regulates the flow of blood from your lungs into the left ventricle, the main pumping chamber, then the mitral valve closes to keep blood from leaking backward when the ventricle contracts. This process is vital to the heart’s function.”

She said Franklin required a series of three heart surgeries performed over several years called “Staged Reconstruction.”

Grubbs said, “Derek’s mother, Kristy Mayo, is eager to share his story with us to assist in spreading awareness …”

According to the American Heart Association website, Jump Rope For Heart is a national education and fundraising event sponsored by the American Heart Association and the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE).