Website boost for heart disorder children

GOD, it appears, was on the phone when He was putting James Mohan’s little ticker together.

Because the man upstairs was not paying attention, the two main tubes going into the six-year-old’s heart were back to front and a chamber was missing.

His mother, Brenda Mohan, from Cabra Road, Dublin, who has two younger sons, Tom, 5, and Andrew, 10 months, said James will need a heart transplant when he is older.

James underwent open heart surgery at Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children in Dublin when he was nine months old and again when he was four years old.

While the tubes have been fixed, James will need more surgical procedures to keep his heart going until he can get a new one when he is in his late teens or early 20s.

“I told him that holy God was on the phone when he was making him and was not paying attention and that was how he got his little ticker all mixed up,” said Brenda.

“We just take each day as it comes but it is very hard for me as an onlooker to see him in pain when he has to undergo more surgery. It was easier when he was younger, because I did not have to explain it.”

Brenda is delighted, however, that there is a new interactive website called www.HeartsPlay.ie designed especially for children born with congenital heart disorders.

The website, launched in Dublin yesterday by Minister for Health Mary Harney, has been developed by voluntary support group Heart Children Ireland in partnership with Our Lady’s Hospital.

It is a fun and child-friendly programme that children can easily use on their own or with their parents to better understand their condition and the procedures they may have to undergo in hospital.

“The website is a godsend for parents and children,” said Brenda, who said some parents were in denial of their child’s heart condition.

“It is tough to accept that your child has a congenital heart disorder. I would love to be able to physically look at James’s heart to really believe that he has a serious problem because he looks very healthy.”

Brenda knows that James finds it hard to keep up with his schoolmates during physical activity.

James, who likes watching TV, thinks the website is great because it tells him lots about his ticker. He also likes going into hospital.

“I get to stay in bed all day,” he said.


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