Abby Lander was the winner of our Captain Koala Kids Club birthday voucher last week.
Her dad, Chris called in to the office to collect her prize and told us Abby was in hospital in Sydney. On Monday last week Abby had the cardiac pacemaker in her chest replaced.
Abby’s mum Susie Little said she was born with a Congenital Heart Disease, which affects one in six babies born in Australia.
Abby’s defects include; Dextrocardia, ASD, VSD, Transposition of the Great Arteries and Pulmonary Stenosis. Dextracardia is a rare heart condition, believed to occur in approximately 1 in 12,000 babies. It means the apex of the heart is located on the right side of the body instead of the left.
“Even though there was a high level of complications with Abby’s heart at birth, her Cardiologist decided her blood oxygen saturation levels were high and stable enough for her to grow a little bigger so when it was time for the operation her heart would be bigger for the corrections to be made,” Susie said.
Abby had to wait until she was three years old to have her first surgery.
“It was a five hour operation where the doctors shut off some of the holes in Abby’s heart, and inserted a conduit to redirect the blood within the heart and the pulmonary artery, as the blood that should have been going to her lungs was being pumped to her body and vice versa. It was like a washing machine within the heart chambers.” Susie said.
“Due to heart block, two weeks after her first surgery she went back in to have a pacemaker inserted,” Susie said.
The pacemaker helps control Abby’s abnormal heart rhythms by using low-energy electrical pulses to prompt her heart to beat at a normal rate.
“For this round of surgery the doctors decided not to just replace the battery, as it was within its last 6 months of life, but to replace the whole generator. She was in surgery for an hour and a half.” Susie said.
Susie said Abby was doing well. “She’s in a lot of pain, but she’s pretty tough,” she said.
“She had a female surgeon this time, so she was pretty inspired about that.”
Abby is in Year 5 at Holy Family School.
Her favourite subject is maths and she likes to play handball with her friends at recess and lunch.
Abby enjoys watching netflix and playing with her brother, Tully (8).
She loves reading books and will read anything.
Abby would like to be a doctor when she grows up.