Heart-warming support cheers Connor's family
Annual @Heart appeal week underwayJONO GALUSZKA
If you looked at 3-year-old Palmerston North boy Connor Williams running around, you would not think anything was wrong with him.
But once he unbuttons his shirt and shows off the long scar down his chest, you can see that he has been through a lot in his short life.
His mother, Karina Williams, said she found out when her son was 8 months old that he had a hole in his heart, a narrow aortic valve and a heart murmur.
Connor is among the 12 children born every week in New Zealand with heart conditions, who benefit from the @Heart charity, which is running its annual appeal week this week.
Mrs Williams said Connor had his first surgery not long after she found out about his condition, and had a second operation at the end of May this year.
Many would find it hard, but Connor took it in his stride.
"It's all just normal to him," Mrs Williams said.
While able to run around like most his age, and even take part in swimming lessons, the condition had an effect on Connor.
His speech had not developed very fast, and he did not grow as quickly either, his mother said.
Being able to tap into the support network @Heart provided was a real help.
"They had contact people up [at Starship children's hospital] if you need it. It's nice to know there's support there."
Manawatu @Heart family support worker Roanne Hautapu said the week included getting funding for the charity. "We have no government funding, so it's an opportunity to appeal for donations."
Collectors would be out on Friday afternoon, but more were needed, she said. People can donate to @Heart by texting "heart" to 2427. Those wanting to help with collections on Friday can call Suzanne on 356 4227.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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