Have a heart and help out

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By JESS LEE

Honor Guy­smith was dealt a tough hand the day she came into the world.

The teenager was born two months pre­ma­ture with tetral­ogy of fal­lot, a con­gen­i­tal heart de­fect which can re­duce blood­flow to the lungs.

Honor was just five months old when she had open-heart surgery to help cor­rect the con­di­tion.

She spent the first six months of her life in hos­pi­tal and has had to have reg­u­lar hos­pi­tal check­ups ever since. But the 16-yearold will be scal­ing new heights at Camp Teen Beat at Long Bay on April 28.

The an­nual camp is run by char­ity @Heart for teenagers aged be­tween 13 and 17 who are liv­ing with a heart con­di­tion.

About 45 teenagers from across the coun­try come to­gether for a week of out­door ac­tiv­i­ties such as raft­ing and climb­ing.

It’s a great chance to meet others like her, Honor says.

Nurses vol­un­teer to pro­vide med­i­cal sup­port through­out the week.

Han­nah Keat­ley, who vol- un­teered last year, says the camp en­sures young peo­ple with heart con­di­tions never feel alone.

‘‘Heart teens get to feel just like their peers, scars and all, for this spe­cial week.

‘‘They are able to swim with­out wear­ing T-shirts cov­er­ing their scars and talk to other teens who have gone through sim­i­lar jour­neys.’’

The camp is free for teenagers to at­tend, but it costs $600 to send just one teenager and with no gov­ern­ment fund­ing the char­ity is strug­gling to cover the costs this year.


Tough start: Honor Guy­smith hopes to make it to Camp Teen Beat for teenagers with heart con­di­tions.

Go to auck­land­c­i­ty­har­bour news.co.nz and click on Lat­est Edi­tion to see a video of Camp Teen Beat.

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