Heartfelt appeal to help sick children

Nina Noble with son Riley (10 months).  Picture: Martin Kennealey         d442181
Nina Noble with son Riley (10 months). Picture: Martin Kennealey        d442181

His mother Nina said her pregnancy went, and none of the tests indicated her second child had heart problems.

However, when Riley was born on October 8, 2014, he came out blue, Mrs Noble said. �They took him to the special care nursery. Later I got a little cuddle, then he had to go back to special care,� the Tapping resident said.

Riley, now 10 months old, was born at Joondalup Health Campus.

Mrs Noble said the newborn emergency transport service took Riley to Princess Margaret Hospital.

�He has been diagnosed with transposition of the great arteries and a ventricular septal defect � in other words, it�s just a hole in the heart,� she said.

Mrs Noble said Riley had a balloon atrial septostomy, then the Royal Flying Doctor Service flew him to the Royal Children�s Hospital in Melbourne.

�He was three weeks when he had open heart surgery,� she said. �He is doing remarkably well; he does have a heart murmur but that�s being monitored.�

During his treatment and since, Mrs Noble said they had received practical and emotional support from HeartKids WA. �Without them I don�t think I would have been able to keep caring for Riley,� she said.

�They connected us with the HeartKids in Melbourne, and they helped with our financial costs to stay over there.

�We are so lucky to be living in Australia where we have the best medical help and the team at PMH have been fantastic. We are so grateful for the surgeons, the doctors, the nurses and everyone that have been able to help us.

�Without them Riley wouldn�t be here today � we are so blessed to have him as well.�

HeartKids WA is running a fundraising initiative through August and September called �Cuppa for HeartKids�.

People can host events such as high teas or coffee dates.

All funds help the charity support families with babies born with childhood heart disease, and fund ongoing research.

HeartKids WA acting chief executive Cecilia Donovan said that in the past, six babies were born with childhood heart disease in Australia each day, with four lives lost each week. However, according to the latest data, eight babies a day are now being born with it and half of that number survive.

�There is still no known cause or cure for childhood heart disease because unlike coronary heart disease, (it) isn�t caused by lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise,� she said.

To register a fundraising event, visit www.cuppaforheartkids.org.au.