Ice challenge a heart stopper
Dozens of Wellingtonians have taken a spring dip for the annual Heart Stopper Challenge, supporting children with heart defects.
Wellington’s Lambton Quay was transformed at midday on Friday, as office workers swapped suits for onesies and took the plunge into the chilly water.
The challenge is designed to mimic what it is like for a child to have ice water flushed through their chest cavity, which can occur in open heart surgery.
Wellington Mayor Justin Lester and his team the Honey Pot Heroes were one of 15 teams to take the plunge at the central Midland Park.
‘‘The idea of the event is that teens get dressed up in fancy dress and they go under the ice for six minutes. This is to honour some of the children who ... have open heart surgery,’’ Heart Kids Wellington committee member Angela Haddon said.
Her daughter Jazmyn Haddon, 17, had open heart surgery when she was seven months old.
She was joined by Lester and together they jumped into the 10 degree water.
He has been a long-time supporter of the group which aims to raise awareness and funds for kids with heart problems, many of whom have to undergo major surgery at a young age.
‘‘I had a child born prematurely, not with a heart problem, but I know it is a really important time for families,’’ Lester said.
‘‘So any support they can get is well received.’’