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Three families brought together by a commonality that no parent would wish for... congenital heart disease.
Your support is helping families like these navigate their journey especially those in hospital over Christmas.
Three amazing bubs who have defied all the odds of survival turned 1 in October. Teliah, Kaiden and Florence all have rare cases of Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) and between the three of them they share 12 different heart defects.
1 in 100 babies are born with CHD and sadly 4 young lives are lost each week to congenital or acquired heart disease.
Your gift of a virtual Christmas Tree Heart Ornament this festive season allows HeartKids to be there to support them on their life-long journey by providing in-hospital, financial and emotional support, and support programs for when they are back at home. Simply click on the amount you would like to donate which corresponds to a coloured heart, write your message and then click on the heart and add it to the virtual tree.
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Things can change in a heartbeat
During their pregnancies, the families were given the gut-wrenching news that something was wrong with their babies during their 20-week scans and referred to King Edward Memorial Hospital (KEMH) in Perth for some testing.
Our worlds stopped that day! The wait for our consultations was excruciating. Upon arriving at KEMH and having done the necessary tests, we were taken into a little room that no parent wants to be in, and delicately told our children had severe cases of Congenital Heart Disease. We cannot even begin to describe our thoughts as there were so many and lots of tears. We had never heard of anything like this before except for holes in the heart. After a long discussion, we were given three options: Termination, palliative care or surgery if it was even possible."
Despite all the odds, the hurdles they had to jump through, multiple surgeries and open-heart surgeries, and months and months in hospital, these miracles just turned one which is something to celebrate. 12 months ago, these parents did not know if their babies were going to make it through childbirth, let alone to their first Christmas.
As heart parents, we have been given the news that no parent wants to hear. We have had to learn medical jargon that most people would not understand, watch and be helpless while our babies are in pain, and endure nights where you are not sure if your child is going to be there the next day. We experienced parenthood for the first time in a way that no parent should, and also having to choose where to direct our attention between our other children in the hope that we will be able to take our child home and be a complete family one day.
Our milestones are completely abnormal compared to other parents. Normal parents have cute photos of their babies in cute outfits; heart parents have photos of their newborns with drips in, drains hanging out, open chests, stitches, feeding tubes, breathing tubes, monitors, pacing wires, and a pharmacy of IV medications being pumped.
CHD is incurable and the journey is far from over for our heart warriors. Between them, they still have multiple open-heart surgeries to go to allow them to continue being here by our side. This is something that we could not have done without the help of the amazing nurses, doctors, and surgeons who have literally saved our children’s lives and also the incredible amount of support that HeartKids have given us. We would not have gotten through this journey so far without them. Our positivity remained strong, our laughter and tears are welcomed and encouraged, and we now consider HeartKids as family and have made lifelong friendships with other people who we would have never crossed paths with."
Mums Kirsten, Christina and Roslyn
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