Dialog Box

Madeline's Story

Jake and Lauren Litchfield found out at their 20 weeks scan that their baby girl Madeline had a ventricular septal defect (VSD) and then a week later during another scan she also had transposition of the great arteries (TGA), both serious forms of congenital heart disease.

At just four hours old baby Madeline had her first surgery, a Septostomy which is a life-saving procedure that would allow her heart to pump more oxygen-rich blood in to mix with the oxygen-poor blood. However, this was only a temporary fix and at seven days old surgeons performed an arterial switch which involves cutting off the aorta and pulmonary arteries just above the point where they leave the heart and reconnecting them to the proper ventricle.

Lauren found this time very difficult and struggled with separation anxiety and feelings of helplessness worrying about Madeline’s wellbeing during this huge time of upheaval and uncertainty. Madeline is their first child and both Lauren and Jake had trouble processing the traumatic experience of a sick child while learning how to become new parents.

“The whole process was difficult,” says first time mum Lauren.

“We are from regional South Australia, and we had to factor in lots of travel, accommodation and meals in both Adelaide and Melbourne for Madeline’s heart surgeries. We were new parents, away from our families, in a different city for some and dealing with Covid and its restrictions. It was a very tough time.”

“While it was hard, we were very lucky to have HeartKids during this time” Lauren says.

“No parent wants this to happen to their child, but we found a community who supported us both emotionally and financially during one of the worst periods of our lives. We knew that throughout all her surgeries and hospitals stays and even when we went home, we were not alone.”

“Madeline is now 16 months old, and we couldn’t ask for more of her, she is inquisitive, intelligent, strong willed and full of love, all the things you want your baby to be. And while we are not sure what the future holds with further surgeries, I know that HeartKids is going to be there every step of the way.”

30 January 2023
Category: Ambassadors
Tags: #CHDAwareness #SweetheartDay #8toomany #4liveslost #1in100,