96five invites you to be a part of the ‘Heart of Christmas’ – bringing hope to sick kids in hospital! You can make it a Christmas to remember for some of our bravest Queenslanders, bringing smiles and joy to kids from across Qld and northern NSW.
This year’s Heart of Christmas is supporting the Children’s Hospital Foundation, an organisation working wonders for sick kids in Queensland by funding life-saving medical research, investing in vital new equipment, and providing support and entertainment for children and their families.
One such kid is Sam.
Looking at Sam as he rides the waves on the Gold Coast, it is hard to imagine what the 12-year-old has been through, and what his future holds.
Sam, who was born with three heart defects, had a pacemaker inserted earlier this year after tests showed his heart was beating abnormally. Despite his heart conditions since birth, Sam has never let that stop him. He was just six weeks old when he had his first of four open-heart surgeries.
His mum Natalie explained the pacemaker will make a significant difference to Sam’s health, but that is not the end for surgeries.
“As he gets older he will have to have more surgeries to replace the valves, because they do have a limited lifespan,” Natalie said.
“But, he will be able to maintain a good lifestyle.”
Natalie was about 34 weeks pregnant when a scan revealed an enlarged heart. Sam was born with an atrial septal defect – a hole in the wall that separates the two upper chambers of the heart. He also had two deformities in two valves on the right side of his heart – the pulmonary and tricuspid valves.
Looking at Sam, Natalie only feels proud.
He loves contact sports, but has to take it easy to protect the pacemaker. “Sam has always been an active child despite his heart abnormalities and is vibrant, happy go-lucky and always on the go.”
Sam has spent many periods of time in hospital during his young life. But, as always, uses the experience to make friends and try new things.
How you can help!
If you would like to bring joy and smiles to kids like Sam this Christmas and on special occasions next year then why not join in this year’s Heart of Christmas by giving a gift.
Because these gifts are going into hospitals – there are a couple of guidelines to stick to – which helps the Children’s Hospital Foundation to ensure toys donated are suitable and safe for the patients and their siblings. By following these guidelines, they are able to utilise any leftover toys donationed throughout the coming year in their services such as:
Oncology Outpatients, Cuddle Care, Bedside Play, Emergency, Outpatient clinics, Loans Trolley, Playroom along with Birthday presents or special one-off reward gift for a difficult day or procedure.
We suggest you keep each gift to an average cost of between $5 – $30. This is to assist with all children receiving a gift of similar value this Christmas season.
From Monday, December 3, the 96five Street Teams will be out at nine different shopping centre’s across the region to collect your gifts of new toys and stationary. You can also drop off your gifts to 96five weekdays between 9am and 4pm at 81 Mina Parade, Alderley. Check out a full list of locations and dates here!