During National Heart Month, we are incredibly grateful for our amazing fundraisers who are continuously supporting the Cardiology Service at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.

Leia Godwin was born in 2019 alongside her identical twin sister Thea.  Given that both their dad and big sister Gracie have heart conditions, Leia and Thea were checked shortly after birth for heart defects. Whilst a tiny hole was found in Thea’s heart, Leia’s heart was perfectly healthy. 

Unfortunately, in April 2020 that changed after an unknown encounter with COVID-19 triggered an auto-immune response in Leia’s body which caused her coronary arteries to swell up with giant aneurysms. Leia’s heart condition was quickly identified, and treatment was provided to prevent it worsening. Leia was released from the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital following one month’s admission.  

Due to the size of the aneurysms, Leia will now require treatment and monitoring for the rest of her life.  As part of the monitoring of Leia’s condition, her blood levels are checked regularly at home with results phoned in to the hospital.  If Leia’s INR (international normalised ratio) drops out of range, she has to attend hospital for an echocardiogram to check for clotting, as well as an immediate dose of clexane (a blood thinning medication).  

Leia’s family have been actively fundraising to raise money to improve the service provision for babies and children in Wales by purchasing new equipment (such as mobile ECG devices for patient use and telemedicine equipment for diagnosing heart conditions remotely), research and education activities, and to develop a platform for Welsh Heart Families. Their JustGiving Page currently stands at an amazing £1,706 raised.

The family have recently purchased 15 Withings Move ECG watches to donate to the department. Designed for everyday life, the watch doubles as an activity tracker as it is known that activity can have a positive impact on cardiovascular health. These donations will be directly improving the lives of children with heart conditions.

We’d like to say an enormous thank you to Leia’s family for their dedication to raise awareness of Cardiovascular conditions, and for their continuous support to the Cardiology Service.

You can read more about their fundraising efforts on their website and if you’d like to donate, please visit their JustGiving page.

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