Patrick Walsh

Patrick's combination of heart defects make him almost one of a kind in this country

The first thing you notice about Patrick when he walks in the room is his shy but friendly little smile. Having been through more than his fair share of ups and downs throughout his first 10 years, he has a surprisingly laid back and happy approach to most things.

Patrick has a combination of complex heart defects, one of which is so rare the specialist cardiac surgeons here in New Zealand were unable to treat it. His particular combination of defects makes him almost one of a kind in this country.  He has Ebsteins Anomaly and had open heart surgery which reconstructed his tricuspid valve using the cone technique. At that time he also had the bidirectional Glenn shunt. The right side of his heart has been permanently damaged and he will likely require further major surgery to repair his mitral valve and re-repair or replace the tricuspid valve.

Throughout Patrick’s heart journey, Heart Kids has been vital to the whole family. “We have had amazing support from our family support worker during our toughest times. Meeting other heart families at events organised by Heart Kids is just priceless” says mum Melanie.

As Patrick cannot participate in things that most people take for granted, his siblings have had to learn to be patient and understand when plans may be cancelled or changed due to his health. However, due to this they all appreciate the small things, the everyday things, and make the most of the chances they do get.

Watch Patrick's story here: