Did you know that six children are born each day in Australia with a Congenital Heart Disease/Defect (CHD) -making CHDs the most common of all birth defects and affecting one in every 100 babies?
Did you also know that Heart disease is the most common reason for admission of Australian children to intensive care units with more than 1300 being admitted each year?
It is a fact that there is no cure for CHDs - and its time to do something about it.
"These children are special - facing challenges none of us should have to from the day they are born," said HeartKids Queensland Inc president Kathy Ingram.
"At the moment there are few answers for parents and carers as to why CHDs occur - we need to make sure more research is being done into finding answers and to helping these amazing little fighters overcome their heart challenges," said Kathy, who is also mother to heartkid Brodie.
Each heartkid has their own story - from baby Zoe who was born with multiple holes in the heart and a leaking heart valve and has already undergone three open heart surgeries, to 12-year-old Jacob who has had 11 surgeries and is on lifelong medication.
"The conditions vary enormously, from those that require no surgery or treatment through to fatal problems," Mrs Ingram said.
The challenges faced by heartkids are often daunting - with many spending much time in hospital, away from their siblings and friends, as their families try to deal with the accompanying emotional and financial strain. HeartKids Queensland Inc (and its sister groups in other states) provide support to those facing these challenges - helping families to cope.
You have a chance to help make a difference for children with cardiac problems - by donating to the Heartkids website you can assist in research and support for heartkids and their families.
To learn more about making a donation visit www.heartkidsqld.org
- The term 'congenital heart defect' refers to an abnormality of the heart, which is present at birth
- Some children acquire heart conditions during childhood, eg cardiomyopathy, Kawasaki disease
- Heart defects are present in 1 in 100 babies
- Heart defects are the most common birth abnormality
- More children die from a heart defect than any other birth defect
- More than 2015 babies are born in Australia each year with a heart defect
- The severity of defects in heart children can range from a hole in the heart, to a highly complex combination of conditions
- Up to 20% of heart defects are gene-linked abnormalities, but for the remaining 80% the cause is largely unknown
- More than half of these conditions are serious enough to require treatment through medication or surgery -some cannot be repaired
- Cures of these heart conditions remains unidentified, therefore there is an immense need to develop early intervention strategies to identify and prevent heart disease in children
- Heart disease is the most common reason for admission of Australian children to intensive care units with more than 1300 being admitted each year
- Heart disease in children is the leading cause of child death in Australia, accounting for more than 30%of all child deaths
- Nearly twice as many children die each year from congenital heart disease compared with all childhood cancers combined