Family time at Christmas
“It was just a few days after Christmas and all the family were together. Jadyn and his two sisters were playing with their presents upstairs when he suddenly collapsed,” says mum Justine.
“My husband Ghayan ran upstairs. He had been taught CPR through work and knew what to do. He shouted to me to call an ambulance. I was an emotional wreck, but he stayed calm.”
Jadyn was taken to hospital and put into an induced coma. “It was all so sudden. One moment we were all at home. The next, Ghayan and I were in hospital looking at our son’s lifeless body,” says Justine.
“We were prepared for the worst. When they brought Jadyn back, at first, he didn’t recognise us at all. You look at your son and he doesn’t even know who you are. It was devastating. His memory eventually came back, but it was painfully slow.”
Uncovering a hidden condition
At hospital Justine and Ghayan discovered what had caused their son’s heart to stop beating. Jadyn had been born with a rare heart condition which meant his heart muscle was starved of oxygen.
In the six short years of Jadyn’s life his heart had been overworking to keep him alive. But now he needed open heart surgery to save his life. “When they wheeled Jadyn away for surgery I thought this might be the last time we see him alive,” says Justine.
“Then Ghayan and I sat and waited. We stared at each other for hours. I was numb.”
The long road to recovery
After a six hour wait the doctor told us that Jadyn’s operation had been a success. But it took Jadyn six months to recover fully, and for the family to get back to normality.
Since his operation Jadyn has grown in confidence. He has started at a new school and has discovered a love of tap dancing.
“What happened to Jadyn that day changed us all,” says Justine. “We have become a much closer family. We have a lot of love for each other and will never take anything for granted.”
“This Christmas it will be eight years since Jadyn’s cardiac arrest. We know things could be so different, so we will be looking forward to celebrating the day as a family. Together.”
Saving children’s lives
Each day 12 babies are diagnosed with heart conditions in the UK. BHF research has been part of an international effort to improve treatment and care for children, like Jadyn, born with these conditions. Before the BHF, eight out of ten babies born with heart conditions died before their first birthday. Today, more than eight out of ten children get to grow up to be adults.
Donate just £3 to our research to ensure more people beat heart disease this Christmas