12 babies a week are born in New Zealand with a congenital heart defect – that’s one in every 100 births.
A Childhood or Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) is the most common serious birth abnormality in New Zealand needing ongoing medical intervention. There is no prevention of cure for a congenital heart condition, and every year 30-40 heart children will lose their battle and become heart angels.
Heart Kids has been here for more than 30 years, walking alongside the families whose worlds have been turned upside down by the news of their child’s heart defect or by learning that their child has acquired childhood heart disease through an illness such as Rheumatic Fever or Kawasaki disease.
We have a network of trained support workers who feel passionate about our heart kids, teens, adults and their families. Caring for a child with CHD means regular trips to the National Children’s hospital in Auckland for procedures, tests and surgeries. It can mean leaving the rest of the family behind, often not knowing for how long. It can mean a barrage of unfamiliar medical terms. It can mean a lot of waiting and uncertainty whilst a child is in the operating theatre. It can also mean separation, isolation, financial hardship, stress, loneliness and worrying about what the future might bring.
Families facing this huge challenge need support. They need someone nearby who can listen and offer practical advice and share information. And they need to know they are not alone. Heart Kids provides that support.
More about us
Heart Kids Central Otago is a small branch which covers quite a large area from Naseby through to Queenstown.
Heart Kids Central Otago is one of the 18 affiliated branches of Heart Kids NZ. We are a group of parents and caregivers of children with heart conditions. We know from first hand experience how important at home support is and we are dedicated to helping others with similar needs. We have 4 committee members and meet about four times a year.