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Monday 18th March 2019

Why every donation makes a BIG difference!

When first-time mother Alesha went in for a routine 20-week scan, she thought she was going to learn the gender of the child, but instead discovered that her unborn child had a life-threatening heart condition.  


In 2014, Alesha’s obstetrician discovered an anomaly with her unborn baby’s heartbeat and immediately referred her to a cardiology specialist at the Royal Children's Hospital. At 23 weeks, Alesha’s son Jax was diagnosed with a rare but serious heart defect known as transposition of the great artery.


The life-threatening defect presents at birth and so, Jax was scheduled in for an arterial switch with a ventricular septal defect repair via open-heart-surgery, which is required to be performed on infants when they are just one week old.  


“We were told that something wasn't quite right but it turned out to be a serious issue with his heart,” said Alesha.


“It was all completely out of the blue but the cardiologist gave us hope with a great prognosis and plan, making us feel like there was light at the end of the tunnel.”


The surgery was a success and five years later, Jax is a healthy and boisterous child, all due to the work of Royal Children's Hospital.


In order to raise awareness for the incredible work the hospital does, Jax and his family will be partaking in the Woodlea Short Course at this year’s Run for the Kids event on Sunday, April 7.


Joining the ‘Woodlea Joggernauts’ team, Jax alongside his brother and parents will join over 30,000 other individuals set to take to the streets in order to raise vital funds for Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal.


The family-friendly event is the single biggest fundraiser, raising $17.1 million dollars for the Appeal since its inception in 2006.


“We would not have our son if it was not for the hospital, Jax would not have survived without the surgery and care by the incredible cardiologist and nursing staff,” said Alesha.


Jax is currently living without restriction or any medication but does have an enlarged aortic root that is monitored with regular visits to the Royal Children's Hospital.


“The kids love going to the hospital, they see it as a fun day out, the ward is such a fun and engaging space for the kids,” said Alesha.


Her advice for any parents in a similar scenario is just to take it one day at a time, trusting the process and to always be kind to yourself during the challenging times.


“Take each day as it comes, even though there will be times when you think you could of done more or something different but you can't be too hard on yourself or feel guilty.


“You need to remind yourself that your family is in the right hands and to trust the medical team who will work their hardest for a positive outcome.”


As the first-ever sponsor of the 5.2km Short Course, Woodlea is helping its residents and locals from surrounding suburbs prepare for the event by hosting free weekly training sessions. The community is also encouraging racegoers to join ‘Woodlea Joggernauts’ team - a supportive and inclusive group open to anyone.


The training sessions will be located in Frontier Park within the Woodlea Estate every Tuesday from 6pm.


To join Alesha’s family and thousands more in raising money for Good Friday Appeal, sign up below.



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