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Sick children gather for special camp - Heart Kids

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Around 90 children will gather in Auckland on Monday (13th - 17th January 2020) for a special, week long Heart Kids Camp.

The annual camp is for children with congenital heart defects who often can’t attend a regular school camp because of their broken hearts. "While school camp is a rite of passage for most kiwi kids, some children’s medical conditions just don’t make it possible. Heart Kids provides that opportunity for them," said Heart Kids CEO Kate Figgins.

9 year old Lleyton Barrow from Christchurch will be attending the camp this year. Lleyton will be packing camp clothes and a sleeping bag, but more importantly his portable defibrillator which goes everywhere with him. Lleyton has a heart condition that means he could go into cardiac arrest at any moment. His defib is his life saver, and everywhere he goes his mum Claire has to make sure people know how to operate it.

"As you can imagine it makes life quite difficult - none of the usual kids sleep-overs and activities without extra special planning. Heart Kids camp, which has a medical team on site 24/7, gives kids like Lleyton an opportunity to pretend things are normal in his life, " says Claire. Claire, who was also born with a heart defect, attended her first Heart Kids Camp back in 2000. "It’s pretty special to have my boy Lleyton now benefiting from this amazing charity."

Two more heart children from Lleyton’s primary school will also be attending camp.

1 in 100 babies are born with a congenital heart defect (CHD), that’s approximately 12 babies a week. It is the most common birth defect and also the #1 cause of death in infants and babies. While some children can go on to live a normal life, many face a lifetime of surgeries and daily medication and in some cases, an uncertain future.

The Heart Kids camp is for heart kids aged between 8-17yrs where they can participate in all the activities in a safe environment.

Camp Braveheart and Camp Teen Beat gives children an opportunity to get together, share their stories, do special activities and just hang out with others who have similar health issues.

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