Daniel Kemp
Cape Town - It has been a roller-coaster ride for mom Monique Kemp whose little boy, Daniel, was diagnosed with an interrupted aortic heart, ventricular septal defect and Hirschsprung’s disease.

Doctors told Kemp her son would not live very long.

Today Daniel turns 8.

“It was such a tough journey and for him to turn 8 is incredible.

“I can’t believe it,” Kemp said.

Daniel was born with congenital heart defects. He has undergone five surgeries. He first went under the knife when he was just 8 days old and has been in and out of hospital.

Kemp found out about her son’s condition when she was 22 weeks pregnant.

Doctors had discovered that Daniel suffered from a “broken heart”, which meant his heart was underdeveloped.

“I felt helpless, it was over my head because I didn’t understand it and that is why I decided to start a support group,” Kemp said.

Kemp launched a support group for mothers with children suffering from the disease, Hearts for Hope.

“Hearts for Hope is here to educate and support.

“And it’s about connecting mothers. We are also here to promote heart donations,” Kemp said

September marks Heart Month and it is part of an international campaign to help raise awareness about disease and stroke prevention.

The World Heart Federation has found that heart disease and strokes are the world’s leading causes of death, killing 17.1million people every year, which is more than victims of cancer, HIV/Aids and malaria.

Daniel Kemp was diagnosed with an interrupted aortic heart, ventricular septal defect and Hirschsprung’s disease. Doctors told his mother Monique Kemp that her son would not live very long. Today Daniel turns 8 years old. Picture: Supplied

Overeating, lack of exercise, unhealthy diets, high blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels are the main contributors that can trigger heart disease.

Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) is one of the most common types of birth defect that affects eight out of every 1000 newborns.

Heart Kids SA said heart disease was more common than Down Syndrome and autism.

They said out of up to 30 cases of heart disease, 12, were detected early.

Kemp said she hoped that through the support group Daniel would leave a legacy.

“I want his legacy to continue so he can inspire others,” she said.

@MarvinCharles17

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Cape Argus