Darren prepares to take his baby girl Phi to the operating room where she will face open-heart surgery

This Christmas, you can help save a child's heart

Help us give more children the best start in life with a healthy heart

Sophia, or Phi for short, wasn't even two years old before she faced open-heart surgery.

This happy and carefree little girl seemed like any other toddler, except for one thing, she wasn't growing as she should.

A barrage of tests and appointments led to a discovery Phi's parents never saw coming - Phi's little heart had a hole in it. She had congenital heart disease.

Jackie and Darren were terrified to learn that the only way their baby girl would grow and develop was for her to undergo open-heart surgery.

Phi’s operation was thankfully a huge success but not every family is as lucky. Every day, eight babies like Phi are born with heart defects and more than half will face traumatic surgery before their first birthday.

What research is the Institute doing to help children like Phi?

Scientists at the Institute discovered in 2017 that a deficiency in a vital molecule called NAD could cause congenital heart disease in the womb.

Not only that, but they also discovered a potential treatment, a simple vitamin B3 supplement.

Excitingly the team has already moved on to establishing a healthy range of NAD in women and the simplest way to measure it during pregnancy. We’re currently recruiting 250 women for Stage One clinical studies.

How can you help save a child's heart this Christmas?

Once they’ve established a healthy range of NAD in women, our team need to recruit at least a further 1000 women from all over Australia – and that’s where we really need your help.

These Stage Two clinical trials will test what level of vitamin B3 could potentially prevent women with low NAD levels from having babies born with congenital heart disease.

Imagine if a simple vitamin supplement could not only prevent babies like Phi from undergoing open-heart surgery at such a young age, but it could also prevent the deaths of four babies who lose their lives to congenital heart disease each and every week in Australia.

But, the crucial Stage Two clinical trials could cost up to $800,000. That’s a huge amount of additional funding we need to raise urgently.

That's how you can help save a child's heart this Christmas.

Your gift will help make clinical trials possible, help us learn more about the role of NAD in congenital heart disease and bring us closer than ever before to a potential new treatment that could help thousands of babies worldwide. I think you’d agree, it’s hard to imagine a better Christmas present.


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Acknowledgement of Country

The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land, the Gadigal of the Eora nation, on which we meet, work, and discover.
Our Western Australian laboratories pay their respect to the Whadjuk Noongar who remain as the spiritual and cultural custodians of their land.

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