1 year old Lucas from Wodonga is an adventurous, inquisitive, happy, and chilled little boy. His parents, Lauren and Kevin first discovered their son had congenital heart disease during a prenatal growth scan at 32 weeks. Lucas was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot (ToF) when he was born in January 2022.
Lucas’ initial diagnosis caused a lot of stress and anxiety for his parents as they could no longer provide the nurture that their 6-year-old son Declan needed because Lucas required trips to Melbourne for surgery. While Lauren and Kevin were trying to navigate their own feelings about Lucas’ diagnosis, they also had to explain to their older son why his younger brother needed to go to hospital. Lucas’ birth was a big change for the whole family as Declan was not only adapting to becoming a big brother but also that Lucas needed extra care because of his heart condition.
“It hasn’t been easy; I haven’t been able to return for work for over 12 months due to not being able to have Lucas in daycare. I also had to take multiple trips to Melbourne before surgery every 6-8 weeks which took me away from the family,” says mum Lauren.
Lucas’ brother, Declan, has been curious on his own terms to get a full understanding of ToF and his parents have been amazed how their first born has been able to understand what congenital heart disease is and what his younger brother is going through. Lucas and Declan are very close and enjoy each other’s company.
At 6-months-old Lucas underwent surgery for an intracardiac repair and will still need to have a valve replacement when he is older. After being in hospital for long periods of time, Lucas now has a dislike to strangers and masks. Being close to his brother and eating lots of blueberries helps him get through these difficult times.
HeartKids has been a huge support to the family as they have been linked up with local heart families who are on a similar journey to them.
“We have made connections with other heart families who make this heart ride feel less lonely and offer so much support online,” says mum Lauren.