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Family affected by heart defect look to raise awareness of condition
A BASINGSTOKE couple whose daughter suffers from a serious congenital heart defect are speaking out to raise awareness of the condition.
Nationally, last week was Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) Awareness week – and it is a little-known fact that around one in every 100 children is born with some form of heart defect.
Lisa Budd’s daughter Madeleine was born with pulmonary atresia, ventricular septal defect, and a genetic disorder, DiGeorge syndrome.
Lisa, 39, explained: “It is not that uncommon for a child to be born with a heart defect but the severity of that can vary a great deal.
“The important thing is that children are diagnosed quickly. We were lucky and had a diagnosis before she was born, but a lot of people will have no idea until their baby turns blue and they are rushed to hospital in an ambulance.”
Lisa and her partner Adrian Linsell, 40, a manufacturing engineer, are supporting The Children’s Heart Federation’s campaign to make sure all new-borns are tested for CHD.
A test, Pulse Oximetry, can be used to diagnose up to 90 per cent of heart defects in seconds, by measuring oxygen levels in the blood.
It is painless, cheap and the equipment is available in every hospital – but only one in five currently offers the test to all new-borns.
For Madeleine, who is now 20 months, it is a question of managing her condition and trying to shield her from infection.
In her short life, she has already gone through two operations on her heart – one of which was complex open heart surgery – and had 10 catheters, two peri-arrests (a cardiac rhythmic disorder), suffered collapsed lungs and pneumonia.
Lisa, of Worting Road, said: “It is heartbreaking to see your child suffer. We know she will need more surgery on her heart as she grows and we don’t really know what the future holds as medicine moves so quickly.
“We’re really keen to raise awareness of the condition, and the importance of all new-borns being tested for CHD.”