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Her baby had a secret. She learned it on the day she died.

Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defect, affecting 1 in 110 babies. Many of them don't show up on an ultrasound. Pulse ox screening could help doctors discover and repair heart defects before they turn deadly. Sounds like a good idea to me. Warning: This is the tragic story of a baby who died. It includes an image of her shortly before her death.

Her baby had a secret. She learned it on the day she died.

This article originally appeared on 02.07.15


Taryn looked perfectly healthy when her parents brought her home. She was growing — thriving, even.

Then one day, the baby made a strange sound. Her breathing became difficult. Her mom called 911 and started CPR.

Taryn died that night in the hospital. She had a heart defect, but no one had thought to check her heart before it stopped working.


Less than 50% of congenital heart defects are diagnosed before birth.

A baby who appears healthy might have a heart that is moments away from stopping.

Luckily, there is a simple, inexpensive, and non-invasive screening called pulse oximetry.

A pulse oximeter shines a red light through the baby's toe, and reports the oxygen levels in the blood. Low levels are cause for further investigation. Practically all hospitals have pulse oximeters on hand.

In 2011, New Jersey became the first state to require pulse ox screening as part of the standard tests a newborn receives. As a result of this screening, over the following three years, 13 babies were diagnosed with a heart defect that could have been fatal if left undetected.

Since 2011, many states have added pulse ox to their newborn screening protocol. Here's a handy map to see if yours is one of them. If you live in one of the seven states that doesn't have a law requiring it, pulse ox should still be available to you in most hospitals. Ask your doctor.

If a law like this could save families from preventable heartbreak at minimal cost, it seems like common sense to me.

Feb. 7-14, 2015, is Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Week.

I don't want you to freak anyone out, but could you maybe spread the awareness by sharing this? You never know whose life you could be saving.

Warning: The auto-generated captions on this video are awful and in some cases upsetting. Upworthy neither makes them nor has the ability to control them. However, if you scroll down below the video and click "Show Transcript," you'll see an Upworthy-created version that is much better.




10/10. The Mayyas dance.

We can almost always expect to see amazing acts and rare skills on “America’s Got Talent.” But sometimes, we get even more than that.

The Mayyas, a Lebanese women’s dance troupe whose name means “proud walk of a lioness,” delivered a performance so mesmerizing that judge Simon Cowell called it the “best dance act” the show has ever seen, winning them an almost instant golden buzzer.

Perhaps this victory comes as no surprise, considering that the Mayyas had previously won “Arab’s Got Talent” in 2019 and competed on “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.” But truly, it’s what motivates them to take to the stage that’s remarkable.

“Lebanon is a very beautiful country, but we live a daily struggle," one of the dancers said to the judges just moments before their audition. Another explained, “being a dancer as a female Arab is not fully supported yet.”

Nadim Cherfan, the team’s choreographer, added that “Lebanon is not considered a place where you can build a career out of dancing, so it’s really hard, and harder for women.”

Still, Cherfan shared that it was a previous “AGT” star who inspired the Mayyas to defy the odds and audition anyway. Nightbirde, a breakout singer who also earned a golden buzzer before tragically passing away in February 2021 due to cancer, had told the audience, “You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” The dance team took the advice to heart.

For the Mayyas, coming onto the “AGT” stage became more than an audition opportunity. Getting emotional, one of the dancers declared that it was “our only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight.”

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