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Hannah's Story

This is my daughter Hannah's CHD story.

All of my antenatal scans were normal, labour, delivery and post natal phase were fairly uncomplicated other than some feeding issues and low weight. She reached all her milestones on time and was a happy and healthy little girl until a trip to the GP for an ear infection a month before she turned 4 revealed a heart murmur. We managed to have an outpatient echo done that same day which revealed a large ASD, Cor-triatriatum, enlarged pulmonary arteries and enlarged right side of her heart. We were referred straight to the then Mater Children's Hospital (where I worked as a paediatric nurse!) where we saw a cardiologist who confirmed the diagnosis and told us she would be referred for semi-urgent open heart surgery. Her defect was so rare that during a very long echo she had during that first hospital visit, there were 6 different cardiac staff in the room all fascinated by something they had never seen before!

She had her surgery 2 1/2 weeks after diagnosis and recovered beautifully. She spent one night in PICU, 2 nights in HDU and one night on the ward before discharge. She did have some complication 6 weeks later with influenza A, RSV and a pericardial effusion that needed draining so she spent a further week in hospital. But after that she went from strength to strength. She continues to have regular check ups with her cardiologist Dr Ben Anderson and last year was diagnosed with bradycardia so we are keeping an eye on that. She is so proud of being a heart kid and will tell anyone who will listen all about her story. She is currently in grade 4 and turning 10 in a few months. She loves singing, swimming and spending time with her friends.

- Mum Jenna