Baby Xander with mum and dad

Xander's story of heart defect

“Xander was diagnosed during our 19 week ultrasound and born with a very complex heart condition."

At two days old, he had surgery to assist the flow of blood and oxygen to his tiny heart and body.

Baby Xander smiling

In March this year, Xander will undergo major surgery to rewire his heart so it overrides and corrects his reversed ventricles. It will be the beginning of many surgeries to come as he’ll need operations to continue repairing his heart throughout his lifetime, in order to live a long and full, quality life.

When I found out about Xander’s heart problem, I was devastated... it left me heartbroken to know my baby was unwell. I had so many questions. I was desperate to find out more information and ultimately, I was fearful for his life.

Discussing Xander's surgery while I was pregnant and then immediately after he was born, was extremely traumatic.

I felt robbed of the luxury of being a first time mum and getting to enjoy my new baby after he was born.

Instead, Xander was rushed to ICU to be stabilised, accompanied by my husband. And due to complications I was unable to be with him until the following day. Watching my baby lay in a surgical gown, riddled with tubes, is an image I'll never be able to delete from my memory. He was so tiny! Why was this happening to him?!

Xander and family

The journey so far has been an emotional roller coaster to say the least. But I’m so thankful for the support from his doctors, nurses and our family and friends.

When I look at Xander I’m overwhelmed with feelings of admiration, love, joy and hope. He's our little superhero, oblivious to his condition, but a true fighter with so much love to give.

I'm so proud of him, he's such a brave and strong little boy. He's endured more in his short four months of life, than some experience in their whole lifetime,” - Lisa, Xander's mum.

You can help kids like Xander by supporting vital discoveries at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute.

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 ongoing spiritual and cultural custodians of their land.