Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) are the most common of all birth defects. Currently, CHD affects one in every hundred children. Many of these children will require multiple surgeries and lifelong medical support. Unfortunately, children born with CHD do not have any entitlement to a medical card, which can potentially (if not definitely) leave the family with a large financial burden. When you have a child with a heart condition, you have to be alert to signs and symptoms of any change in your child’s condition and do the best you can to seek the highest standard of medical advice. Children with CHD do not grow out of it – it is with them for life. In many cases, it is a lifelong chronic condition. While Heart Children Ireland welcomes the introduction of medical cards for the under 6’s, the organisation says this must now be extended to all children with Congenital Heart Defects so that they, and their families can be supported.
This week is global Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Week and the official fundraising week for Heart Children Ireland. The charity’s annual windmill fundraiser in venues across Ireland aims to raise €50,000 to ensure the continuation of critical services for children with CHD. The charity has just launched a new text line service – HCI to 50300 to donate €2. This year, Heart Children Ireland has also teamed up with artisan florist Austen Flowers to create a limited number of handcrafted Floral Hearts for Valentine’s Day and these will be on sale on Dublin’s South King St on Saturday, 13 February and cost €35 each.
Heart Children Ireland charity patron Damien Duff has generously donated half his annual Shamrock salary to the charity. His donation means that Heart Children Ireland can provide much need Coagu-Check machines for the Young Adult Congenital Unit at the Mater Hospital. The Coagu-Chek machines allow CHD patients check the coagulation of their own blood at home, at work or even on holidays instead of having to go into the hospital. Weekly monitoring of coagulation is essential for CHD patients who are prescribed the drug Warfarin and without a personal Coagu-Chek machine, CHD patients must make costly and time consuming trips to their nearest CHD clinic. Needless to say, this donation has meant the world to those affected by CHD and their families.
Damien Duff, ambassador for Heart Children Ireland, says:
“Heart Children Ireland is a small charity doing extraordinary work for children with Congenital Heart Disease from all over the country”
“They critically need funds to ensure the continuation of their much needed services such as the provision of respite care grants, family support services and medical equipment. I really urge people to donate to Heart Children Ireland during their annual fundraising week – every cent raised will make a huge difference to a child with CHD.”
Heart Children Ireland is a voluntary non-Government funded organisation with over 1,000 member families. To date, Heart Children Ireland has raised over €2.5million for the cardiac unit in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin and the Young Adult Congenital Unit at the Mater Hospital.
Heart Children Ireland’s mission is “to enable all children born with CHD live the best possible lives”
Among the services provided by Heart Children Ireland are:
– Funding for life saving medical equipment in Crumlin Hospital
– Respite grant for families travelling overseas for surgery.
– Funding for a dedicated cardiac Speech and Language therapist and Clinical – A dedicated clinic room for the Young Adult Congenital Unit at the Mater Hospital
– Advocacy services to advance the particular needs of children and their families within the hospital setting and also within the wider social arena
To make a donation to Heart Children Ireland, please TEXT HCI to 50300 to donate €2
or please log on to www.heartchildren.ie