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.

Heart Kids has a network of regional branches across New Zealand. Heart Kids provides over 20,000 hours of direct support to families every year, and Heart Kids currently supports over 8,500 children and their whanau.

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.

Check out one of Heart Kids iconic fundraising events, the 360 Heart Stopper Challenge.

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.

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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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