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Together, we can make sure that courageous heart families in Australia do not have to face the trauma of congenital heart disease alone

Hope Long was born in November 2017. What was meant to be one of the most incredible moments of any parent’s life quickly turned into one of the most harrowing times for the Long family from Port Augusta.

Born prematurely at the Royal Women's Hospital in Melbourne and weighing only 1200 grams, Hope was diagnosed with a severe cardiac condition and Doctors only gave little Hope a 50% chance of survival.  

Because of Hope’s life-threatening condition, she was initially transferred to Melbourne’s Children’s Hospital for surgery to give her the best chance of survival. Kirby and Dave Long were now far from home and their support network and to make matters worse they had to leave behind their young son with family.

Hope had her first surgery at just 1 week old when her heart was the size of a small strawberry –the surgery took 12 hours! 

Hope has needed more surgery since and was transferred to the Adelaide Women’s and Children’s Hospital (a 3 hour trip from their home town of Port Augusta) where she spent close to 250 days of her small life. She left hospital two months ago at 15 months old. 

Given the hospital in their home town of Port Augusta did not have the facilities and was unable to provide the appropriate care and support that Hope required. The Long family made the agonising decision to move to Adelaide to be close to Hope in hospital.

As Kirby says,  "It was really hard as Hope can’t travel and the Port Augusta hospital doesn’t have the facilities to cope with all the complications that Hope has."

If all of this wasn’t hard enough to cope with, while the Longs were in Adelaide their house was broken into and their valuables were taken. 

When families like Hope’s have no choice but to travel to a major capital city to get access to the specialist treatment their children need, they leave behind their support networks, jobs, friends and family. It is in this time of need HeartKids is there to provide peer to peer support, financial assistance, education and necessities like food and accommodation. We are there so they don’t feel so alone.

 

As a friend of HeartKids, will you give a special gift this year to help provide crucial support for all those doing it tough away from their family and friends.

 

Collage of Hope Images