Patch the Heart Lion Foundation’ is a not for profit organisation founded by two mothers whose young sons both have complex cardiac conditions. As their boys endured multiple open heart surgeries it became apparent that there was little support for the young children themselves. Although their families were always by their side there was nothing to inspire, or encourage them through grueling medical procedures.’ Patch the Heart Lion’ character was created to give children something to hold on to, a sense of empowerment that this lion character was inspired by their courage
The primary aim of PHLF is to support children and their families along their heart journey. Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) affects 1 in 100 children born each year. Due to advanced technology and medical procedures, children are surviving past infancy, however many of these children need constant medical monitoring and must endure multiple surgeries, medical procedures and everyday limitations. Although medical infrastructure has improved, ongoing ‘Kid friendly’ support for the children is lacking.
‘Patch the Heart lion’ is a character developed specifically for children with heart disease to inspire and ignite courage, promote self-worth and to believe in hope.
The character of ‘Patch’ is used as a vehicle to provide support both in and out of hospital, through books, merchandise, education, play therapy, medical support, school/hospital visits and family activities. This support extends to siblings and extended family who often feel isolated when family needs to move interstate for medical intervention. An unfortunate reality is that many children die from CHD ( every week 4 precious lives are lost) and ‘Patch’ is instrumental in helping siblings and extended family in times of bereavement.
Patch the character takes the form of a larger than life mascot, a book character and a ‘teddy’. Children and families within the CHD community embrace the character and the ‘teddy’ symbolizes a tangible piece of courage that can follow a heart patient through the many hospital procedures and surgeries.
CHD affects children all over the world. Through social media and the website ‘Patch the heart Lion’ has reached many families in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand to name only a few. However we need financial support and backing to reach these families.
We need and appreciate your support.
Karen Horsell & Natalie Halls-Jones
Founders & Directors
Patch the Heart Lion Foundation Ltd