Rally for Robin brings awareness to congenital heart defects

Baby Robin McDermott diagnosed in utero
February 13, 2018

Nothing can prepare a parent for news of a complication during pregnancy.

Expectant parents Mallory Talbot and Bob McDermott found this out firsthand when an ultrasound technician discovered their baby may have heart problems at Mallory’s 20-week prenatal visit. Less than two weeks later, the mother-to-be said, the suspicions proved true when physicians in Christiana confirmed her baby had a congenital heart defect that will require at least three surgeries before age 3.

She recalled the panic that set in for their unborn baby, whom they decided to name Robin.

“It was devastating,” said Mallory, a Lewes native. “But the baby is totally dependent on me right now, so I realized I need to stay calm, and we needed to figure this out.”

Although they recall processing this news was stressful, the couple also agreed they have a supportive family who has literally rallied around its newest member, organizing ongoing fundraising events for baby Robin McDermott before his or her due date on May 4.

Mallory’s sister-in-law, Brooke Talbot, has organized an all-day fundraising event, “Rally for Robin” at the Greene Turtle in Lewes Tuesday, Feb. 27. The Rally for Robin will include a bake sale and a raffle for Firefly passes, among other prizes.

Brooke is also a pediatric nurse at Beebe Healthcare. She explained, via email, that baby Robin has been diagnosed with hypoplastic right heart syndrome (HRHS) in utero. This diagnosis indicates the right side of Robin’s heart is critically underdeveloped and will require multiple surgeries in the first years of life.

She said the fundraisers are going to help Mallory and Bob prepare for some of the inevitable costs they face with the many trips they have already scheduled at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia,

McDermott, a first-time dad, said he’s thankful they have time to plan since the heart defect was caught early. Often, they go undiagnosed until birth.

“It’s all new to me, and it’s not what I planned for,” McDermott said. “It’s good that they found it ahead of time, and props to Karen, the Beebe ultrasound tech. She’s the first person to save our baby’s life. Thank you.”

Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week runs through Wednesday, Feb. 14. The Rally for Robin is scheduled to be held at the Greene Turtle in Lewes from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.

For more information, contact Rally for Robin, email