Hearts go out to Katie

Hearts go out to Katie

MOST mums are nervous bringing their first born home from hospital, but for Julie Cavaney the experience was terrifying.

Now four years old, her daughter Katie was born with Childhood Heart Disease (CHD) and lives with a hole in the heart.

�I was devastated; it�s something you don�t really think about until it happens to you,� Ms Cavaney, of Balga, said.

�She had a hole in the heart and also a stenosis, which is a bent valve where the artery narrows and causes an obstruction with blood flow.�

According to new statistics from HeartKids WA, more Australian babies born with CHD are surviving.

HeartKids WA acting chief executive Cecilia Donovan said six babies were born with CHD in Australia each day, with four lives lost each week.

�While even one life lost is still too many, the increase in survival rates does offer hope that more heart kids are making it past those critical early days and into adulthood,� Ms Donovan said.

�There is still no known cause or cure and CHD isn�t caused by lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise.�

HeartKids WA raises funds to promote ongoing research to find a cure for CHD while also providing vital support to families of children born with the disease.

Ms Cavaney joined HeartKids WA in 2014 and said the support was �amazing�.

�To have people understand what you�re going through means the world.,� she said.

HeartKids WA has invited people to host their own Cuppa for HeartKids event with family, friends, school or workmates.

All funds raised will assist HeartKids WA to continue to support the growing number of families with babies born with CHD, while also helping to fund ongoing research to one-day find a cure.

Register during August and September at www.cuppaforheartkids.org.au