Thank you for joining our fight against congenital heart disease.
The Somerville Foundation (TSF) has always worked hard to improve the lives of people who were born with a heart condition. We have a vision of the world where every congenital heart condition is treatable and patients live full and happy lives. It will be a long hard fight to get there, however congenital heart patients and their families have always been fighters and together we can and will achieve our dream.
However more, much, much more needs to be done, especially when it comes to research. There are some fantastic examples of research currently being carried out within GUCH News issue 81. TSF welcomes and supports this research, however it is only the tip of the iceberg. The sad reality is that too many congenital heart patients are dying prematurely, live restricted and in some cases unhappy lives, as a direct result of their heart condition. We are a long way from having all the answers.
What is it all about?
In very simple terms, research can be viewed as investigating five key questions, who, what, when, where and why?
• Who is likely to be born with a heart condition?
• What actually is that heart condition?
• When or at what stage in development do changes take place?
• Where or on which chromosomes do changes occur?
• Why does this happen, what triggers the changes that cause congenital heart disease?
It is vital to have answers to all these questions however for those born with a heart condition there is a sixth and most important question of all:
• What can be done about it?
There are enormous opportunities to research new and better treatments for today’s congenital heart patients (for whom prevention is not currently an option). This isn’t just restricted to purely physical interventions, researchers need to find out how to best support patients mental health, so that congenital heart patients and their families live as healthy lives as possible.