CLOSE TO MY HEART

FACTS ABOUT CONGENITAL HEART DISEASE...

 

I was born with CHD - Pulmonary Stenosis.

I have now had 3 Pulmonary Valve Replacements...

As I've grown and had more of a public career I have been told time and time again to cover my scars..when I've refused a date I've been jeered at for my scars.. on social media I am attacked for my scars and yet through it all- you never feel you don't belong but you know you don't truly belong anywhere... your note cute and little anymore.. your not completely "fixed" as there will be more surgeries and you know..always know there is fallout from the condition.

 

For the uneducated  and the misunderstand- Congenital Heart Disease is often seen as  "Coronary" and therefore think that the lectures on; diet, excersize and movement are the "solution" to you being "fixed". It's like telling a type 1 diabetic to loose weight and it would go away like a type 2 diabetic.  I am exhausted by this lack of understanding so...

 

I have decided to team up with Award Winning Megan Rizzo from Studio Fascino because;

 

  • I want children to be proud of their little ''power suits''.

  • I want the heart adults to know they are loved, supported and cherished for our differences.

  • For us CHD Adults to know we are safe and strong and because sadly that is not how we are treated in public at times.

  • CHD means we are never 'fixed' but rather we have a lifetime of managing this condition.


So..this campaign #scarsareasignofgrace is for the US who have CHD and rely on our new and improved ''power suits'' that God gave us us to work with this lifetime..

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view interviews

 

​​''As the tears ran down Julianna's cheeks as we wrote on her skin, It was as if we were using a knife, not a soft felt pen. Our Makeup artist, Bree of Dead Gorgeous Hair & Makeup Styling had to stop at one point as the tears fell from her cheeks too.​''


​​Childhood heart disease is the biggest killer of Australian kids under one.

Every day in Australia eight babies are born with a heart defect.  That’s almost 3,000 each year.


Every week, four precious lives are lost.


There is no known cure or prevention. Once a Heartkid, always a Heartkid.


It’s estimated that 32,000 children (under 18 years of age) are currently living with CHD in Australia.


Some children acquire heart conditions during childhood, e.g. cardiomyopathy, Kawasaki disease (- 200 p.a *) or as a result of rheumatic fever.


A disproportionate number of indigenous children suffer from acquired heart disease – often as a result of rheumatic fever, which is prevalent in many communities.

Up to 20% of heart defects are gene-linked abnormalities.

They have nothing to do with diet. These children have congenital heart disease – not coronary, which is what most adult heart patients have.


Approx half of the children diagnosed with heart disease require surgery to correct the defect, Australia has one of the highest rates of rheumatic fever in the world. This is rife in our indigenous communities and causes major damage to the heart valves.


For the first time in our history there are more people over the age of 16 with CHD than younger. This is due to medical advances.

 

If you or your family need more advice and support please click here

 

For more information about CHD go to https://www.heartkids.org.au/