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Countdown Kids Appeal helps mend our little hearts

He was only 14 days old when his parents knew something wasn’t right.

As new parents Kelsi Young and Andrew Porter thought it was a bug, but near midnight Chase Porter needed full resuscitation at Waikato Hospital’s Emergency Department.

Four months on, Chase is now a one of the littlest battlers with a very rare and life-threatening heart condition.

He is also the new face of the 2017 Countdown Kids Waikato Hospital Appeal that begins 7 August 2017.

“Waikato has been amazing to us. We’ve spent a lot of time in NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), on the Waikids’ wards, and with the homecare team.  We wanted to help them fundraise for critical equipment that saves lives like they did with Chase” says mum Kelsi.

“Chase’s condition was very complex and confusing. On his sixth day in NICU we thought he was recovering and they put him in the parent room with us. Overnight we noticed something wasn’t right again and had to go back to NICU for more tests and heart scans.”

Chase was first diagnosed at Waikato Hospital with the heart condition left ventricle non compaction (LVNC), which gives the heart a spongy appearance to the muscle and affects its ability to pump effectively.

“Things were really critical and we were told Chase may not make it and needed to be airlifted to Starship Hospital.”

Here Chase was further diagnosed with a very rare and life-threatening heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy with LVNC.

“Our baby was so fortunate to have such an incredible care team and the equipment was vital” says Kelsi.

Equipment that this year’s Countdown Appeal is fundraising for.

“I’d say Waikato Hospital used the cardiovascular ultrasound several times to checked Chase’s heart size, its function and blood flow. And he’s going to need these ultrasounds regularly for the rest of his life.

While in NICU Chase also needed to be incubated with the Giraffe Warmer, to provide uninterrupted thermal heat to keep him comfortable.

The type of cardiomyopathy Chase has with LVNC is a newly found genetic condition and often found post-mortem.

“Chase is one of the lucky ones. We still have a lot of bridges to cross as his condition can be fantastic one day and difficult the next.

“Thanks to True Colours’ support we’re taking life one day at a time, and being happy in the moment without trying to think too much about what could happen tomorrow.

“My fiancé and I meet through a love of motocross; Chase actually did the Tarawera 100 km endurance race with me, before I knew I was pregnant. He’s been involved in a lot of adventure sport while I was pregnant from mountain biking, paddle boarding at night, to island holidays.

“Best case scenario with Chase’s condition is he will live a very normal life but won’t be able to participate in high physical activities. We’re glad he’s had the chance to do some with us and we’ve got it captured all on film for when he’s older.”

New Zealanders can support kids like Chase who are battling illness and injury by making a donation to the Appeal or engaging in local activities and raffles. To donate, simply:

  • Visit your local Countdown supermarket and donate at the checkout
  • Purchase a Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal wristband or raffle ticket in-store
  • Participate in your local store fundraising activities
  • Donate while you’re doing your shopping online by selecting Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal as a product.

More about Kids Countdown Appeal

The Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal runs from 7 August 2017 until 29 October 2017.

  • Last year the Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal raised $104,070.00 for Waikato child and youth health service Waikids.
  • Now in its eleventh year, the appeal raises money to go towards much needed medical equipment to help children like Chase.
  • The Waikids equipment 2017 wish list is a cardiovascular ultrasound machine system and Giraffe Warmer for NICU. Visit Waikids website for more information.
  • Look out for the Countdown Kids Appeal branding at local Waikato Countdown stores.
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