Open-heart surgery at 5 weeks old.
b o r n f i g h t e r
Each week a lifelong battle awaits 12 little kiwis born with heart defects
Harley 2 years old Loves: Doing Yoga at daycare
Harley's heart journey began when her parents Greg and Amy went for their first 12 week scan. Her nuchal measure came back thicker than normal. Blood tests were done and when the results came back they were told there was a 1 in 5 chance of having a Down syndrome child or the possibilities of other syndromes.
When Amy was 17 weeks pregnant it was then discovered Harley had a blocked bowel and a hole in her heart.
Harley was born at 37 weeks and had surgery the day after she was born to repair her bowel and then at 5 weeks old she underwent open heart surgery to repair the hole in her heart.
She was in hospital for 7 weeks and it was during this time that Heart Kids started supporting the family and made many visits to Harley, Amy and Greg. Harleys heart is currently working well and she won’t need to see the cardiologist until she is 5.
According to her parents Harley is strong, fierce, and so much fun. She isn't old enough to understand her journey and what she overcame. However, when she is old enough they can’t wait to share with her how amazing she was and what she has been through. For Amy and Greg their advice to other heart families facing surgery is “take one day at a time. It's not normal but it's your new normal, so embrace it”.
A Congenital Heart Defect is never ‘fixed’. Corrective surgeries, on-going medication and hospital visits are a normal part of life. Sadly for some kids, their heart conditions are so serious they won’t live past their teens.
Heart Kids offer practical and emotional support – be it specialist equipment, a camping experience, educational resources, a way to connect with other families, or just a shoulder to cry on. They also give these kids hope, and empower them to become more independent and resilient.
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Heart Kids is the only charity in New Zealand dedicated to providing lifelong care and support for children and their families living with Childhood Heart Defects (CHD).
Every week 12 little kiwi children are born with a childhood heart defect, that’s over 600 babies every year. This makes CHD the most common serious birth abnormality in New Zealand.
The impacts of a heart defect on children and their families are far reaching, stretching through extended family and out into the community. With no cure or prevention corrective surgeries, on-going medication and hospital visits are just a normal part of life.
Heart Kids walk alongside these families whose worlds have just been turned upside down by the news of their child’s heart defect. We help build resilience to deal with the upheavals to family life that a heart defect can bring.
Heart Kids offer practical and emotional support – be it specialist equipment, a camping experience, educational resources, a way to connect with other families, or just a shoulder to cry on. We also give these kids hope, and empower them to become more independent and resilient.
For more about Heart Kids visit heartkids.org.nzDonate now