Heart hero Cait not only came to the open day for our forthcoming Teenage Support book (watch this space!), but has also recorded a special song in aid of CHSF.
This is Cait’s story in her own words. Read on!
Hi, I’m Cait, and I was born with Tetralogy of Fallot.
I had open heart surgery at 14 months old, which I obviously can’t remember, and then a keyhole surgery in March.
I grew up always knowing I had my CHD, from the yearly checkups and the scar down the middle of my chest, it was hard to mistake it.
But, I’ve been one of the luckiest ones. I’ve only ever had 2 major heart surgeries and I’ve had them at the easiest times to have them.
My last surgery was a heart valve replacement catheter and I was 15, right before COVID hit. Lockdown, for me, was easy for the most part as I was so used to having school off, working from home and only seeing friends every once in a while.
It was also strangely convenient as it came in just before I was due back into school, this meant I could spend more time in recovery and getting my strength up.
I spent many weeks doing yoga and relaxing, and then when I came to summer I was back to my normal self. However, the downside is that my post-op checkups were ultimately postponed.
After going through life only ever having checkups and the odd MRI, and then to go into hospital with also no memory of my previous surgery – was utterly terrifying, but with all the support from the doctors, psychologists and my family, I made it through plain sailing.
9 months on, I’m happy and healthy, started 6th form and had an amazing summer doing things I only dreamed about a year ago. However, some people are not as lucky as me. This is why this Christmas I decided to put out a fundraiser.
I’ve always loved music and it’s my biggest escape, so, with the help of my new friends at sixth form, I banded together a group and we recorded a cover of Brenda Lee’s ‘Rockin Around The Christmas Tree’.
After a few bumps in the road, we released it last Friday and we now have over a hundred plays a week.
My inspiration for this was my heart friends and all the other children like me – to help them through the hardest of times.
With the right people, family, friends, doctors, nurses and specialists, by your side; the load of having CHD, gets a whole lot lighter.