Nearly 40,000 children are born with congenital heart disease each year in the US.

WJTV 12’s Lanaya Lewis takes us to UMMC where specialists are teaching children and parents about managing the defect.

If you look at 4-year-old Alyssa Strieff, you wouldn’t be able to tell she has a congenital heart defect.

The disease affects one-in-100 children each year.

Ashley Strieff  said “she’s had four open heart surgeries and she’s had 10 heart caths.”

“She has a permanent pace maker and she has two stints.”

According to specialists with UMMC, about 50 years ago, it was tough for doctors to save a child with such a defect, but with technology advancing, adults, like 22-year-old Jared Gould have been able to live a near normal life.