Every 3 hours a baby is born with a lifelong heart condition. Every day eight babies are born with Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) and tragically every week, four young lives are lost. Families of babies born with heart defects endure enormous emotional and financial stress and the news is often received without warning. Having surgery is not a cure. Children with congenital heart disease will face unique challenges for the rest of their lives and for many, this will include ongoing medical treatment, long stays in hospital and repeated heart surgeries.
HeartKids supports those affected by CHD both in hospital and in the community through its support services and programs. HeartKids hosts teen camps, opportunities to connect with other young families in the same boat, Christmas parties for the CHD community, peer support and more. HeartKids makes sure that families are supported during their stay in hospital by providing emotional support, meals, parents care bags, accommodation and emergency travel funds for rural families.
Approximately 32,000 children are currently living with CHD in Australia. For the first time in our history there are more people over the age of 16 with CHD than younger. This is due to medical advances. To date, HeartKids has committed almost $3 million to fund research into the causes, treatment and management of Congenital Heart Disease.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for brightening up a heart kid’s Christmas, it’s the small things that bring the biggest smiles.