Heart Kid gives back, and meets his he­roes

The Hastings Mail - - FRONT PAGE - ME­GAN HUNT

Ev­ery week 12 Kiwi ba­bies are born with heart de­fects.

For some chil­dren like Taylor Lil­ley they might need a sin­gle surgery, while oth­ers will bat­tle long-term heart dis­ease.

What­ever the con­di­tion, the not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion Heart Kids is there to pro­vide help for kids and fam­i­lies.

This year Napier boy Taylor, 11, was se­lected to be one of the chil­dren rep­re­sent­ing the or­gan­i­sa­tion as part of its May fundrais­ing ap­peal.

For his fam­ily, Heart Kids had been there al­most since the be­gin­ning, when he was flown to Star­ship Hos­pi­tal for surgery af­ter doc­tors dis­cov­ered he had a hole in his heart.

‘‘We had an emer­gency flight to Auck­land and ar­rived with the clothes on our backs,’’ his mother Chris­tine said.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion can pro­vide sup­port to fam­i­lies in th­ese sit­u­a­tions with prac­ti­cal needs like food, clothes, even tooth brushes, along with emo­tional and psy­cho-so­cial ser­vices.

‘‘They are just such a neat team, they are so pas­sion­ate about what they do,’’ she said.

Taylor is now a stu­dent at Ta­matea In­ter­me­di­ate and a keen crick­eter, so the char­ity paired him up with his favourite team, The Black Caps, ear­lier this year, as Heart Kids are the team’s of­fi­cial char­ity.

‘‘I thought I was dream­ing,’’ he said about meet­ing the play­ers.

A signed shirt and bat take pride of place in his bed­room.

Taylor also had the chance to play a few overs with the team at McLean Park, learn­ing some tricks to take back to his Napier Tech club where he plays as an all-rounder.

Heart Kids also run camps for chil­dren and teens in Auck­land each year, part­nered with a med­i­cal cen­tre to en­sure chil­dren with se­ri­ous needs can take part.

Taylor has been on two and said the fly­ing fox and play­ing cricket was the best part of the ex­pe­ri­ence.

Do­na­tions can be made through the Heart Kids web­site.


Hawke’s Bay Heart Kid Taylor Lil­ley.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.