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Natalie’s story

Natalie was one of those babies. Born with a hole in her heart – a form of congenital heart disease (CHD) – her one wish was to safely have her own baby.

Until she was 18, Natalie had no idea she had this potentially lethal heart defect.

“They found a hole in my heart about the size of a 50-cent piece. Within weeks I was having open heart surgery.”

Will you support life-saving heart research to support people like Natalie?

Natalie recovered from her surgery. But it didn’t end there.

Natalie’s cardiologist Dr David Celermajer discovered she had blood clots in the lungs so severe that even the smallest amount of exercise could be life-threatening for her – even running for a train. But the hardest part for Natalie was learning she might never be able to have a baby.

What happened to Natalie shows how crucial it is that we conduct more research into the long-term impact of CHD.

The average life expectancy of adult patients is just 35 to 40 years for those with complex CHD, and 55 years for those with moderate CHD.

Right now, more than 64,000 Australians like Natalie are living with CHD – a disease we don’t know nearly enough about. Will you support vital research to help these people?

Help protect people like Natalie

Dr Celermajer is leading a groundbreaking project at the Heart Research Institute into the impact of CHD and the deadly gaps in our healthcare system.

The goal of his research is to get a full picture of all the ways CHD affects the lives of young Australians, so people like Natalie can get the support they need at every stage of their lives.

Natalie is now the proud mother of a beautiful baby girl born during the middle of the pandemic – something that may never have been possible without advances in medical research.

“Without research, I might not be here today,” Natalie says.

My one wish is that the next generation – my child, my sister’s and my friends’ children – never have to face the sort of challenges I’ve had all my life.


You could help make this selfless wish come true. Please make an urgent gift today to support vital research into heart disease so people like Natalie and her baby can live life to the full.