Heart Kids shine at sports fest

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Brave face . . . Heart Kid Ivory Booth (6) gets her face painted at the Heart Kids Otago sports festival.

On the outside, Ivory Booth looks like a regular, happy child.

But the 6-year-old was born with two holes in her heart and a collapsed artery.

Ivory had open heart surgery at 3-weeks-old and was “in and out of hospital” for regular check-ups for the first year of her life.

Not that anyone would be able to tell now, her mother Rosa Trbuhovic said.

“She’s doing amazing.”

Ivory’s health has improved and she now has check-ups twice a year.

At the time, the experience was “terrifying” for Ivory but made more comfortable thanks to the support she received from Heart Kids Otago, Ms Trbuhovic said.

They regularly checked in with her and Ivory, and were “pretty much our only support”.

“What they do is absolutely incredible.”

Ivory was just one of the children – some with heart conditions, some without – at the Heart Kids Otago sports festival last Saturday.

Representatives from athletics, rugby, cricket, basketball, dance and basketball were on hand to teach them some skills.

A bouncy castle and face-painting also kept the children entertained.

Ms Trbuhovic said it was a great event.

“It’s incredible that they can bring all this together for the kids.

“It’s awesome for them [the kids] to get to know each other as well.”