Have a heart and help out
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.