Jaden’s Story


My Daughter, Jaden, was born in 1995 by emergency C section at 42 weeks. Throughout my entire pregnancy and until Jaden was 6 days old, there had been no indication that there was anything wrong. Day 6 saw myself and Jaden on a Commercial flight being transferred to The Prince Charles Hospital (PCH) in Brisbane.

She was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA), Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD), Atrial Septal Defect (ASD), Stenosis of the Pulmonary Artery, Hypoplastic Ascending Aorta, Mitral Atresia and Muscular Subaortic Stenosis.  She had her first OH surgery (Modified Norwood) at 10 days old. She was on oxygen for nine months and had her Glenn and 3rd OH (Fenestrated Fontan)  surgeries just before her 2nd Birthday.

At the age of 11, she developed Interatrial Re-entrant Tachycardia. Over the next three years, she had two more episodes. During each episode her resting pulse was up around 180/200 bpm.  On the 3rd episode, she had to be cardioverted back into Sinus rhythm. Every time these episodes happened, we were transported from the Cairns Hospital to the PCH in Brisbane by the RFDS.

Having HLHS certainly impacted her chances of being an athlete, but on saying that, she did obtain her Junior Black Belt in Rhee Tae Kwon Do at the age of 12. Her heart condition actually helped her focus her passions on helping people and public speaking, which she loved. Every year for seven years she held a Fundraiser Cuppa for Heartkids Afternoon High Tea.  She has been a Guest Speaker at The QPCS & Heartkids Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Mini-Symposium, Brisbane, the Former Origin Greats Charity Luncheon, Suncorp Stadium, The Heartkids Ball, Townsville, Qld Health Forum, Townsville, and even spoke on behalf of Heartkids in Parliament in front of the Minister for Health. She was quite nervous, but loved being there at each and every one, raising awareness. Jaden has a passion for creating positive change and empowering young adults in their journey with a chronic illness.

Heatkids helped Jaden find the confidence to talk about her heart defect to others and be like a “normal” kid, when she went on her first HK Teen Camp 11 years ago.  From then, she attended every year as a Camper, then as a Leader. In her words “Because of Camp, I’ve got a family of friends who understand the complexities of living with a heart defect, and I’ve been able to experience some of my favourite and most heartbreaking memories with them by my side.” ”HLHS has most certainly had it’s ups and downs but ultimately, it’s allowed me to recognize my strengths……  In fact, it’s the reason why I keep pushing myself to try everything”.

These days, Jaden is only on medication for her tachycardia and Warfarin. She takes her own bloods and manages her own medication. She moved to Brisbane in 2017 and still sees her Cardiologist at the PCH every six months. She is now 26.

Since moving to Brisbane, Jaden has worked as a Nanny, a Youth Worker and is now full time in Admin at the Queensland Children’s Hospital. She also has a degree in Social Work.


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