Family wants to help broken hearts

Family wants to help broken hearts

Amanda, Olivia and David McGarry with baby Collin are hoping to raise money for HeartKids WA. Photograph — Kelly Pilgrim-Byrne

Mundijong Centrals Football and Netball Club are hoping to raise money for Heartkids WA after one of their own was affected by a heart condition.

David and Amanda McGarry, who are Centrals members, knew little about heart conditions until March when their son Collin was born with three ventricular septal defects, otherwise known as holes in the heart.

He was also born with transposition of the great arteries, which is when the pulmonary artery and the aorta are switched in position.

Mr and Mrs McGarry had been unaware of Collin’s condition until he was born.

“It was a normal pregnancy so it was a bit of a shock when he was born,” she said.

“He was born blue because he wasn’t getting enough oxygen to his blood supply through his heart.

“He went straight from me to some paediatricians and then they transferred him straight away to PMH in an ambulance.

“It was terrifying – it wasn’t a good time.”

Collin remained in intensive care at PMH for two weeks while the family waited anxiously for a surgery date.

They then had to drop everything and travel to Melbourne because the surgery couldn’t be done in Perth.

Mrs McGarry said Collin was just three weeks old when he had his surgery and his outlook is now good.

“He’ll have cardiology check ups for the rest of his life but as far as I’m aware he should have a normal life and he should be able to play sports and everything,” she said.

“A lot of children do have to have surgery later in life as well but it seems to depend on the individual.”

She said the family received so much help from HeartKids WA while in Melbourne that they decided they wanted to give back.

“Initially the club wanted to raise money to cover our costs but we did alright so we want to pass it on to HeartKids WA,” she said.

“They took really good care of us, getting us food vouchers and checking in with us.”
Mrs McGarry said the family also wanted to help raise awareness about children’s heart conditions.

“We’ve never been around children’s hospitals because our older daughter (Olivia) has never had any health issues,” she said.

“We didn’t realise how common these heart conditions are – in Melbourne Children’s Hospital there’s a whole ward dedicated to them.

“Some of them need actual transplants so it’s pretty full on.”

HeartKids WA – A Day for Collin will be held at Mundijong Oval on the corner of Cockram Street, Mundijong on Sunday from 2pm to 6pm.

Entry is $10 per car or $3 per person and there will be food and entertainment.

For more information visit facebook and search for HeartKids WA Fundraiser – A Day for Collin.

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