Fuck You, Childhood Heart Disease
After spending his first 3 weeks of life in the NICU, Dexter had several reconstruction surgeries to his bowel and his heart was checked annually to make sure the holes weren’t causing any problems.
In 2014 Dexters Cardiologist indicated that it would be highly unlikely that Dexter would ever need open heart surgery (yippee) and so the focus remained on Dexters bowel defect.
In August 2016, a week before Dexters 4th Birthday, he had his 9th general anaesthetic to create another stoma in his tummy to help with his bowel and life became easier. Everyone finally felt like they were getting to the end of the endless appointments, tests and surgeries.
In January, Dexter was scheduled once again for an Echocardiogram (a type of ultrasound to check the heart) while he was awake. Previously they had all been carried out whilst he was under General Anesthetic as he was so traumatised by hospitals and procedures.
Nobody was prepared for what was to come.
Dexter started having his Echocardiogram, but unfortunately the high pressure shunting in his heart had caused it to enlarge and the news was given that the holes needed to be closed by open heart surgery.
The following week Verlie & Mark were told Dexter was booked for just 3 weeks later given the size of his heart.
With no family in Australia they called on their friends for emotional support as well as practical support helping to care for their 15 month old daughter.
They also reached out to Heartkids
Heartkids are an amazing charity dedicated to providing support to families of children with heart disease.
They were able to be with Mark & Verlie during the surgery, helped source extra care for their daughter and provided emotional support at this extremely distressing time.
Dexters surgery went very well but the weeks leading up were fraught with tears, worry and guilt.
And because life can be an asshole, their car needed fixing and the washing machine broke.
This family have tackled this without complaint, they have no family support and somehow manage to just get on with it.
They have asked for nothing.
In order to give a little something back, I am asking for anyone who can spare $5, $10, whatever it is to help fund a new LG washing machine so this amazing family can wash their clothes. Right now they are hand washing everything which is not ideal given the current situation.
Any over funding will go towards a cleaner and some practical help for the family who have had to take unexpected time off work to be with Dexter.
Because Childhood Heart Disease can go and get bent.