One in every 100 children has a congenital heart defect (CHD) and more children die of CHD than they do of cancer, according to Heart Kids SA’s Paige du Plessis.
The non-profit was founded in 2014 by friends and families of babies born with congenital heart defects to support families affected by CHD.
It will hold a dinner in August to raise awareness about a condition few know about even though it has taken the lives of many children.
The dinner will also offer a community of support to parents and families of those living with CHD.
A congenital heart defect is a problem with the structure of the heart and it is present at birth. Congenital heart
defects are the most common type of birth defect and they can involve the walls of the heart, the valves of the heart, and the arteries and veins near the heart.
In certain cases, the defects are not detected early enough or not detected at all which can lead to death.
Both cardiologists and survivors of CHD will speak at the dinner.
Ms Du Plesssis said parents of children with CHD often neglected themselves as they were so worried about their child’s health.
“The parents do not sleep enough or they forget to eat because they are so worried and that’s why we have a WhatsApp support group to assist them.”
To join the support group, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Heart Kids SA mentors also visit hospitals on Tuesdays to meet up with parents and see how they are doing.
The dinner will take place at the Nico Malan Hall, behind Groote Schuur Hospital, on Saturday August 3, from 6pm. Tickets cost R220 and all proceeds from the dinner will go to Heart Kids SA.
There will also be an auction. For more information, call
Paigeat082 778 9146or 082 765 3784.