By Fareed Matthews, Founder and Director of Brave Little Hearts
On March 16, 2019, the Children’s Heart Disease Research Unit, in partnership with Brave Little HeartsSA and Heart of Hope, hosted our 2nd patient-focused workshop – ‘Listen to my Heart’ – at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.
The event highlighted the plight of heart disease in children and focused on how to manage life with a heart condition, as well as the role of the patients, parents and healthcare professionals in advocating for children’s heart disease as a public health priority.
The event included a strong focus on the perspectives of people living with heart disease, and featured a number of informative discussions and interactive booths to give both patients and parents the opportunity to learn more about their conditions as well as the services available to them.
Parents and adolescent patients were given the opportunity to listen to informative sessions on topics ranging from sports and nutrition to pregnancy and growing old with a heart condition, while the younger children were entertained in the play area with a magic show, a soft play area, face painting, a photo booth, as well as nails and make up for the girls!
Going forward we will make this event a regular feature, as being child and family-centred is one of the core values of the UCT Children’s Heart Disease Research Unit, Brave Little Hearts SA, and Heart of Hope.
The event had delegates from around world, including two of our very own Global Arch leaders, Amy Verstappen and Bistra Zheleva. It was certainly great to see them again!
Please visit the Brave Little Hearts SA Facebook page.
The Reporter is Sumayyah Matthews (Fareed’s daughter) and it airs on her show HeartBeat with Sumayyah and Thaakirah, in the segment dedicated to Children with Heart Disease.
Please scroll down for photos and audio interviews. A special thank you to reporter Sumayyah Matthews!