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This Christmas, 

please donate to research
into congenital heart defects.

Jesὐs Valentino had a heart that just couldn’t be mended.

This is the story of Jesὐs (pronounced Hey_Zeus) Valentino, a little boy born with his heart on the outside.

Jesὐs Valentino’s parents had been trying for a year to get pregnant, so they were overjoyed to get their good news on Valentine’s Day.

But their initial joy was short lived.

Something strange showed up at his 18-week ultrasound. It showed an abnormality above their baby’s chest.

The news was the worst – their baby’s heart was growing outside his chest.

Every four hours another baby is born in Australia with a heart defect.

Jesὐs Valentino was one that sadly couldn’t be saved.

Apart from his heart being outside his chest – a condition called ectopia cordis – he also had Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), one of the most serious forms of congenital heart disease.

The left side of his heart had failed to develop properly and could not efficiently pump blood.

Without radical surgery or heart transplantation early in life, HLHS is invariably fatal.

The two conditions occurring together gave baby Jesὐs Valentino no hope.

His condition was so serious it was thought he would be stillborn or live only a few hours.

But Jesὐs Valentino proved to be stronger than that and was loved and hugged and adored for 15 and a half days by his parents and family, before passing away peacefully.

We can’t save every baby – yet.

But with your support for research into conditions like HLHS, and other research being done on how the human heart is formed, I am confident we will be able to predict it and perhaps one day prevent it.

In honour of the short but valued life of Jesὐs Valentino, and because we all want babies to be born with healthy hearts, please send the most generous Christmas gift you can manage. Thank you

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