WARRAGUL // WHEN Lisa Giblin’s son Aiden was given three weeks to live at birth she was heartbroken, but 10 years on she considers her little boy “one of the lucky ones” who fought on.
Above: Aiden in 2005. Photo supplied by Lisa Giblin.
Aiden was born with an inoperable heart condition and has been on medication for much of his life. His condition may seem rare, but congenital heart disease – heart disease present from birth – affects over 64,000 Australians. According to support group Heartkids, the childhood heart disease rate is increasing by five per cent every year.
“No operation was possible, unfortunately,” Lisa told the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen.
“For Aiden’s condition the only hope was a heart transplant, but at 11 weeks of age it is very rare to get a healthy donor heart so he only had medication keeping him alive.
“He spent three weeks in the Royal Children’s Hospital before the doctors came to me and said there was nothing more they could do for him there that I couldn’t do at home. Did I want to remember his life in hospital or take him home and make the most of it?
“I made the heartbreaking decision to take him home and make the most of the time he had left. Christmas was just over three weeks away and we were told he wouldn’t see his first Christmas. Aiden has continued to beat the odds and has been drug free since 29 December 2014.
“He will have his condition for life, it can return at any time, so we just make the most of the time we have.
“Aiden is one of the lucky ones and we think ourselves lucky that we have [so far] had 10 years more than ever expected.”
It was her experience with Aiden which prompted Lisa to support Heartkids. She has started a fundraiser named after her son, Aiden’s Heart Awareness Family Fun Day, which will be held on Sunday 18 October.
Featuring a barbecue, raffle, silent auctions, merchandise, a raffle and music in addition to market stalls, rides, car boot sales and more, the fundraiser has already attracted support from around 100 stallholders.
“It would be so nice to reach that target and really make it a successful day for the kids and their families,” she said.
“100 per cent of the money raised is being donated to Heartkids Victoria/Tasmania.”
Lisa is still welcoming stallholders and donations for the raffle and auction. Anyone interested can contact her via the event Facebook page.
The event will be held at St Pauls Anglican Grammar School gymnasium on Bowen Street, Warragul, from 10:00 to 14:00. A gold coin donation will be required for entry.
Click here to visit the Facebook event page.
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