Superheroes support kids in need

Lyn Fitzpatrick and son Thomas (9), got a grocery package from HungryPanda superheroes. Photo by Damjan Janevski. 286473_01

When Lalor local Lyn Fitzpatrick went in for her 20 week scan she was not expecting to learn that her unborn child had a rare heart defect.

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) is a condition that affects normal blood flow through the heart. As the baby develops during the pregnancy, the left side of the heart does not form correctly.

Jeremy is now four-years-old and has undergone numerous open heart surgeries to due complications from his condition.

“So he had two heart surgeries but he had complications from the first one…he didn’t get enough oxygen to his stomach and his bowels,” Ms Fitzpatrick said.

“And then he had his second surgery moved up early because his oxygen levels were low and sitting in the 40s.

“So he ended up having a stroke during the second heart surgery, but because he wasn’t gaining any weight…he ended up having two stomach surgeries as well.

“He got sepsis from the first one so it ended up being a really long time in hospitals.

“And because of the stroke he’s also got cerebral palsy now.”

When Ms Fitzpatrick learnt of her son’s condition, she decided to reach out to HeartKids, a not-for-profit organisation focused on supporting those impacted by childhood heart disease.

HeartKids celebrated their ‘Be A Hero For HeartKids’ day this year on Friday, June 18 to raise awareness about congenital heart disease.

Food delivery service HungryPanda showed their support for the initiative by delivering some treats and providing groceries to Jeremy and his family.

HungryPanda head of public affairs Kitty Lu said they wanted to show “support for this important initiative.”

“The statistics for congenital heart disease are alarming and we are calling on Australians to show how big-hearted they can be,” Ms Lu said.