Skip to main content
The Women's and Children's Hospital is located on the traditional lands for the Kaurna people, and we respect their spiritual relationship with their Country. We also acknowledge that the Kaurna people are the custodians of the Adelaide region, and that their cultural and heritage beliefs are still as important to the living Kaurna people today.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices and names of people who have passed away.

Prince of Hearts – Kaiden’s Story

Kaiden feature
WCH News
Posted 14 Feb 2024

Kaiden was diagnosed with congenital heart disease (CHD) in-utero. Mum, Shenae shares his story to raise awareness for HeartKids’ Sweetheart Day.

“During my 20 week morphology scan the sonographer was taking quite a long time and my partner and I began to get anxious. After sometime, she left and returned with a doctor to inform us our son’s heart was “not quite right” but he couldn’t say anymore and they sent us to a specialist at Flinders Medical Centre.” said Mum Shenae.

“The following week we had an echocardiogram (a test that uses sound waves to create pictures of the heart) and given a formal diagnosis and explanation of his conditions and treatments required.

He was diagnosed with congenital heart disease (CHD) with Atrioventricular Septal Defect (AVSD), Hypoplastic Right Ventricle, Pulmonary Stenosis and Malposed Great Vessels.”

“After Kaiden was diagnosed with his CHD, my pregnancy was transferred to the care of the Maternal Foetal Medicine (MFM) clinic at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital (WCH) and I had an amniocentesis for genetic testing which returned no detections.

“At 37 weeks and 4 days I gave birth. Kaiden was taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) an hour after delivery and stayed in NICU then the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) for a week before we took him home.

“At 3 months old he had a balloon atrial septostomy (a procedure that helps babies with congenital heart defects until they have repair surgery) in Melbourne and shortly after returning to Adelaide he had a nasogastric feeding tube put in.

We attended many cardiology, dietitian and speech pathology appointments at the WCH as well as frequent Emergency Department visits and admissions due to viral infections affecting his oxygen levels.

On the 17th of February 2023 Kaiden had his open-heart surgery and we celebrated his first birthday in hospital.

Three months later he was tube weaned and has been thriving ever since.

Our experience at WCH has been so positive. We have been to many different departments, seen so many nurses, health professionals, doctors, social workers, support coordinators etc and I can honestly say the experiences have been so wonderful. When it comes to the health and well-being of your child you want the best care for them and for your own concerns to be heard and we definitely receive that at WCH.

I was put into contact with HeartKids through their support coordinators at WCH. They’ve helped in a number of ways throughout our journey. If they knew we were admitted onto a ward they would message me to arrange a catch up and helped us with vouchers before our trip to Melbourne. We attend frequent events coordinated by HeartKids and through this, as well as their Facebook support page we’ve met many other heart families.

Kaiden is the sweetest, funniest, most energetic toddler I’ve ever met. He is strong willed, cheeky, adventurous and so incredibly brave. Despite everything he has been through, he is so happy, easy-going and friendly to everyone. He’s inspiring and motivates me to be the best person and mother I can be. He’s my world, he’s more perfect than anything I could have ever imagined.

My hopes and dreams for Kaiden is that he will grow up to be a loving, happy, intelligent person who understands the values of family and following your dreams. I hope for him to have a long, healthy life filled with love and happiness.”

“I dream that he will always follow his heart because I know whatever he sets his heart on will be worthwhile and meaningful.”

Thankyou so much to Kaiden, Shenae and their family for sharing his story.

Sweetheart Day is held on February 14 each year by HeartKids, raising much-needed funds and awareness of congenital and childhood acquired heart disease.

Thank you to HeartKids SA for their work at the Women's and Children's Hospital and across South Australia to help children and their families to lead the most fulfilling life possible by providing advocacy, information, research and support.