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Each week a lifelong battle awaits 12 little kiwis born with heart defects

A warrior’s battle

Merapi 12 years old Loves: Dancing & dressing up

Merapi may look small and frail for an 11-year-old, but hidden inside is the strength and determination that has helped her defy the odds.

She was born with complex, life-threatening heart defects and has had three open-heart surgeries, the first at just six days old. For most of her life she has been on oxygen 24 hours a day and is unable to attend school. Merapi’s parents live in constant fear of losing their child, a situation that no family should face.

Her family may not know what the future holds, but one thing is for sure – Merapi is a heart warrior who will continue fighting with the love and support of the Heart Kids family.


Three open-heart surgeries, the first at just 6 days old. Fenestration closure procedure at 9 years old.

24/7 Oxygen Assistance

For most of her life, Merapi’s heart was not strong enough to pump oxygenated blood to her lungs. Following her most recent surgery, she fortunately no longer needs the assistance of 24-hour oxygen.

Future - Uncertain

Merapi struggles with her condition every day. She requires countless medications and frequent injections to aid her heart and secondary health issues that have developed as a result of her heart condition. Despite her challenges, Merapi always greets you with a huge smile and a sparkle in her big blue eyes.

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