Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke
Matthew’s Story

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13 year old Matthew from Banbridge has needed repeated surgery as he has grown older. His congenital heart disease was discovered during his 21 week scan and he was fitted with his pacemaker the day he was born.At the end of July of this year, he had his third pacemaker fitted. His parents Carol and David say that over the years it has been extremely difficult for them to watch Matthew starting to fail every time he needs his next operation.

After his operation in July, Matthew developed an infection and has been in a lot of pain and unable to return to school. But despite his problems, Matthew is a normal boy who loves computer games, his dog, his mum, his dad and his siblings.

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His parents admit though that Matthew’s condition has put a lot of stress on them and the rest of the family. Sometimes his older siblings have felt left out. In fact, talking to all our families, this very common, and all the parents feel torn between the needs of the child who is ill and the needs of their other children.

One of Matthew’s ongoing difficulties is that often people don’t realise that he has a heart condition as he looks so healthy, so it can be difficult at school when he can’t take part in sport and other people don’t really understand why. And some physical activities that other children take for granted, like learning to ride a bike, can take longer for him because of the extra effort they require. But I’m pleased to tell you that this year, before his operation, Matthew finally conquered that bicycle! Well done Matthew!

Please support the Baby Hearts Appeal with a donation today. Together, we can give babies the healthy hearts they deserve – and save many, many lives.

Thank you.

If you would like to support us, you can set up a small, regular monthly gift or give us a donation today.

To help our Babies’ Hearts Appeal with a regular monthly gift, please click here to set up a direct debit.

If you would like to make a donation today, please click on the yellow Donate button.

£25 could help pay towards the recruitment of a family for the research study.

£50 could help cover the costs of the cardiac nurses’ support for the study for one week.

£250 could help cover the costs of the cardiac nurses’ support for the study for one month.

£1000 could help pay for the Baby Heart’s Study for one week.

£5,000 could help pay for the Baby Heart’s Study for one month.




If you would like more information about how you can support this appeal, please e–mail us on

mail@nichs.org.uk or call us 028 9032 0184.