WALKING TALL: Congenital Heart Disease survivor William with dad Nathan Dalziel, and auntie Kelly Verrall promoting Two feet and a heart beat - a walk to raise funds for Heart Kids.
WALKING TALL: Congenital Heart Disease survivor William with dad Nathan Dalziel, and auntie Kelly Verrall promoting Two feet and a heart beat - a walk to raise funds for Heart Kids. Cordell Richardson

Little hero giving back with a smile on his face

LITTLE Willam Dalziel has battled with congenital heart disease for most of his eight years on this earth.

Dad Nathan Dalziel said his son has had three operations on his heart, the first at eight-days old, the second at four months and one last year.

"Will is eight now and he's been in and out of hospital the whole time," he said.

Now William is an amabassador for HeartKids and helping to promote their Two Feet and A Heartbeat Charity Walk along with his aunty Kelly Verrall.

Ms Verrall has been a huge campaigner for the HeartKids charity, ever since her sister and William's mother passed away in her sleep five years ago.

"I did it in memory of my sister. She would be doing as much as she could to support them."

Mrs Verrall said it was about paying back the support the charity had shown for her nephew.

"They save lives, the kids are our future.

"William's a champion.

"He's my hero, here is this little kid going through life's challenges with a smile on his face."

Thankfully William is now on the mend, he still struggles with endurance and gets tired but he enjoys playing sport like any other eight year old.

And after his last operation he only needs to see the cardiologist once every year, but it wasn't always this good.

"Leading up to the surgery I noticed the blueness in his lips, he was tired after school and always buggered."

His oxygen saturation was down to about 85 per cent, now its 98-100 per cent.

"Now he runs around a lot more and there's no more blue lips," Mr Dalziel said.

"I don't think a lot of people know about Heart Kids. His (condition) was pretty complex there were multiple things wrong, people don't realise how common it is, it does open your eyes, we were just really greatful for Heart Kids.

"My wife spent nearly three months down there."

Mrs Verrall said it was hard for her sister having to leave her other two kids behind but they were lucky William could be saved as four lives are lost to the disease every week.

"It's very sad, hopefully with money and research we can reduce that figure."

How you can help

WILLIAM Dalziel, his dad, siblings Cody, 13 and Hayley, 10 will all take part in a charity walk to help raise money for Heart Kids next month.

"He's excited just like any other eight year old," dad Nathan Dalziel said.

When William was born he was flown to Melbourne for life saving operations.

"My wife and I first met the guys from Heart Kids when they looked after us. It was a bit of a struggle at the time.

"They're a pretty good organisation, they helped out the whole time he was in hospital."

On September 9 the Two Feet and a Heartbeat Charity Walk is being held in honour of the four lives lost to congenital heart disease every week in Austraila.

The 4km walk will be held at 20 locations around Australia, including Robelle Domain.

Participants can walk the course twice and do 8km in recognition of the eight babies born with congenital heart disease every day.

Walkers are given funky socks to wear and flag to carry on the day, their flag colour will represent their connection to congenital heart disease.

You can register and collect flags from 9am, the walk starts at 10am and will be followed by a tribute to Heart Angels - those that have been lost to congenital heart disease - at 11am.

During the tribute participants are invited to lay flowers in memory of a Heart Angel.

All funds raise will help HeartKids deliver family support programs.

HeartKids is Australia's only national charity soley dedicated to providing lifelong support to children, teens and adults affected by congenital heart disease throughout their life journey.

They provide in-hospital and community based support that help families with financial and emotional support through hospital visits and ongoing treatments.



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