“I JUST ASK THE QUESTION: WHAT DID I DO WRONG?”
Chloe Fisher from Kilkeel is a bright 14 year–old who has full marks for attendance at school and a love of acting. But when she was born she had eight separate faults with her heart and lungs.
Chloe had Fallot’s Tetralogy, a congenital heart condition that involves at least three separate faults in the organ’s pumping mechanism, but often involves more.
She underwent major surgery when she was just 10 days old and then again when she was 15 months. At primary school she often needed a nap because her brain wasn’t receiving enough oxygen from her heart and lungs. As a result, she would also have to go home early. She was lucky that other children, teachers and classroom assistants understood the problem and made allowances.
Now that Chloe is in secondary school, however, her classmates are less aware. So if she becomes tired or breathless people don’t understand as much.
“It’s made me more determined to push myself harder to try and fit in,” she says. “I need to be more independent.”
Mum Brenda says: “I just ask the question so many times: what did I do wrong? I just feel so guilty for Chloe. I feel it’s been my fault that she’s been born like this and I would just love if they could find out what causes this problem. It would be great for mothers–to–be to know what to do or what not to do and I just think it’s super that this research is going ahead.”
Chloe still hasn’t finished heart surgery. She is likely to need another operation once she has stopped growing, as is often the case with her condition. Chloe also suffers from scoliosis which is a curvature of the spine. This condition has deteriorated over the past 6 months to the point at which she may need surgery. However, there are concerns about whether her heart is strong enough to go through this surgery.
Watch this video to hear what Chloe and her mum Brenda have to say.
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£25 could help pay towards the recruitment of a family for the research study.
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