Abbey bears it all

Abbey Hart (6) is now a normal happy, healthy child after open-heart surgery at PMH in March 2012.
Abbey Hart (6) is now a normal happy, healthy child after open-heart surgery at PMH in March 2012.

Volunteers will hit shopping centres to sell bears in an appeal for people to buy and Wear A Bear to help support the thousands of WA children treated at the hospital each year.

Abbey (6) can credit the hospital for her survival after its doctors there performed open-heart surgery on her to repair a hole in her heart.

She was just six weeks old when her doctor noticed a slight heart murmur before referring her to a paediatric cardiologist.

Mum Tara said she was advised to return with Abbey in about two years, as sometimes the problem can rectify itself.

However, when the toddler turned two, doctors identified a separate problem in Abbey’s heart ” one side of it was slightly enlarged.

‘This was the first sign of a hole, which meant that oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor blood were mixing and putting a strain on her heart,’ Tara said.

‘The only solution to correct the problem was for Abbey was to have open-heart surgery at PMH, which she underwent in March 2012 at four years of age.

‘It was such a shock for our family. We were in disbelief but just had to accept it and say, ‘OK this is happening, let’s just deal with it’,’ Tara said.

After undergoing successful surgery, Abbey was discharged just two days after her procedure.

‘We cannot speak highly enough of the hospital, its doctors and nursing staff,’ Tara said.

‘The care Abbey received was first class.’

She said Abbey is now a normal happy, healthy child.

‘She loves dancing, singing, going to the park, riding on her scooter, all regular kid stuff,’ she said.