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Emily Domett, Auckland

At just five, Emily was already a two-time veteran of open-heart surgery. 


Her family's nightmare began when she was sent home sick from school one day. Soon she was in terrible pain, unable even to recognise her parents. She was rushed to Starship, where tests showed a life-threatening infection in her heart. With no time to lose, she was wheeled into theatre for a gruelling eight hours of open-heart surgery.

For her loving parents, Susan and Joe, the wait felt like an eternity. To their great relief, the operation was a success. The Starship surgical team had found a way to repair her severely damaged heart valve, using her own tissue.

Will you please donate today and help more children like Emily who need life-saving care this Christmas?

As if this ordeal had not been enough for Emily and her family, there was another shock in store. During a check-up two weeks after her operation, an aneurism was discovered near Emily's heart valve. It meant she was in danger of a rupture without another delicate operation. She was allowed to go home, but would have to be monitored carefully by the Starship team.

Her mum, Susan, remembers this time as "like living on the edge of a cliff".

Then on one of her weekly checks, the medical team decided the danger had become too great. They scheduled surgery for the next day.

Emily asked her mother bluntly,"Are they going to cut me open again Mummy?"  Susan had to tell her little girl the truth.

Incredibly, the brilliant surgical team at Starship was able to save her heart valve a second time, again using her own tissue. Avoiding the need for a valve replacement has spared Emily years of ongoing surgery.

It was the generous help of kind Starship supporters that made Emily's life-saving surgery possible. Please donate today and help save seriously ill New Zealand children this Christmas.

As Joe, Emily's Dad says, "The money you donate goes a long way. Every little bit counts."

To view a very special message of thanks from Emily's parents, please click here

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