Carlsbad Family Created OC Heart Walk With Love

August 8, 2018

Carly Paganas, is a Realtor at Juncal Real Estate, a mother of two little girls, and a Carlsbad Resident. Carly and her husband John’s first child Mckenzie was born with a congenital heart defect that had gone undiagnosed for months until she nearly lost her life at 6 months old. Her daughter had gone into cardiac arrest in the ER while they had brought  her in because they noticed she was swollen and breathing heavy and her symptoms had progressed for months. She was placed on life support while going into cardiac arrest and after several massive heart attacks one of which killed 50% of her heart function. They found out in the hospital that Mckenzie was born with ALCAPA acronym for a type of CHD. This type can go undetected for months and can not be found in utero.Once Mckenzie’s heart was strong enough days later they took her off life support and performed open heart bypass surgery. She survived and since undergoing the surgery their daughter continues to surpass the doctor's expectations. 


You could say "mother's intuition" helped save her life. She also attributes her child’s survival to their family’s faith and the amazing work of dedicated doctors. Blessed by their miracle baby she and her husband John Paganas wanted to give back to children born with congenital heart defects which is the #1 birth defect. Affecting 1 in 100 babies and there are over 40 different types of CHD’s. Yet most of us know nothing about the CHD or the symptoms. Thanks to research now most hospitals do a pulse Ox test to detect CHD’s at birth. This money goes to research for other life saving heart surgeries like their daughter had. CHD's are the #1 birth defect and 20% of babies do not make it to their first birthdays. More kids die of a CHD than all childhood cancers combined each year. Her family wants to continue sharing their daughter’s inspiring story of hope, love, and positivity. There is no cure for Congenital Heart Disease, it is a lifelong battle. Although some kids and adults like their daughter appear healthy- they will battle CHD for their entire life. Her daughter is an active child like any other. She attends school in Carlsbad, is a proud Girl Scout and loves soccer. John, Carly and another heart dad Ted Wagner started the Congenital Heart Walk in Orange County and hope to start another walk in San Diego, with the help of others they have raised over $200,000 in 3 years. Carly and her husband John have been overwhelmed with the response and involvement from the community that the walk has received. 

This year’s Heart Walk is on Sunday September 9, 2018 at Irvine Regional Park in Orange California. This is their fourth year of coordinating the walk for The Adult Congenital Heart foundation and the Children’s Heart Foundation; both are national non-profit foundations 501(c) organizations. The Congenital Heart Walk is it's own foundation and evenly distributes the funds raised to both of these foundations for research. Although the walk is in Orange County, some of their top fundraising teams have come from San Diego and Riverside area. 

We hope that you can come out and support this amazing cause and walk with us! The walk includes facepainting, DJ, food and lots of family fun!!

Register HERE to Walk 

                                                          Sunday, September 9, 2018

 Irvine Regional Park, Group Area 4, 1 Irvine Park Rd, Orange, CA 92869

 8:00 AM Registration - 9:00 AM Walk Kick-Off

Offering family friendly 1/2 mile and 1 mile options!