Simon’s Story

Our world was set on a challenging course with the birth of our son Sam in August 2001. On a wet Friday evening in Perth, having been back in Australia from Botswana for just a few months, a big baby boy joined his sister Stella. It was soon apparent though that all was not well with young Samuel, as he’d begun to turn blue and his vital signs revealed a rapidly deteriorating condition.

Not for the first time and not for the last, we were reminded how blessed we are to live in Australia. Our little boy was packed into an ambulance as we followed scared witless to Princess Margaret Hospital. Had Sam been born in Africa things might have been very different. He was diagnosed later that first night with transposition, explained in the graphic on the right below

 

As a result we’ve been involved with HeartKids, in Western Australia and NSW for many years. In the decade plus since Sam was born, HeartKids has taken enormous strides, from handfuls of dedicated parents back then to veritable armies of families, friends, volunteers, medical specialists and incredibly generous individuals and companies.

 

HeartKids’ employees and volunteers do an extraordinary and tireless job around the country helping families through the most difficult stages of their lives, coping with the upheaval and uncertainty that goes hand in hand with babies born with congenital heart disease.

 

Sam’s presence in our lives is something we are forever grateful for. Dr David Andrews – who performed his arterial switch procedure at PMH when he was 3 months – and Dr Luigi D’orsogna, his cardiologist, have become close to our own hearts. Trusted and much loved. We stand in awe of the medical specialists who deal with desperately ill children of any persuasion. Their skill and compassion through extremely traumatic times for parents and families is an anchor point, when it feels like your world is imploding. It’s easy to be overwhelmed, but the resources you find in yourself, in one another and above all the resilience of these small individuals, keeps you going forward. Whatever the meaning of life is, having a heartkid takes you close to it, raw emotion and all.

New South Wales