The family of a young Melton boy who passed away from complications associated with a rare heart defect is hoping to raise awareness of the syndrome.
Noah Mamic was born premature in August with a rare heart condition called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), fighting through until he took his last breath on November 11.
His parents Winnie and Lucas Mamic did all they could to make sure he knew his family was there for him during his short life, but strict COVID-19 restrictions meant it had been difficult for his siblings to meet him.
Noah’s family is now raising funds for The Royal Children’s Hospital to help buy a crib for babies who also have a difficult start to life.
Close family friend Cassie Cutajar originally organised the online GoFundMe fundraiser to support Noah through his treatment, but the family has decided they wanted to give back to the hospital where Noah spent his precious days.
Ms Cutajar said Noah’s condition first came to light at the 20-week ultrasound and was exacerbated by his premature birth.
“Winnie and Lucas were expecting their third child and everything was going well until the 20-week ultrasound, where they were told the baby had Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, which meant the heart wasn’t formed properly,” she said.
“They decided to progress with the pregnancy and they expected that once he was born they would have the surgery, but he arrived earlier than expected and that complicated everything.”
As the baby develops during pregnancy, the left side of the heart of a baby with HLHS does not form correctly.
Despite receiving surgery, Noah experienced multiple issues with his health before passing away.
Ms Cutajar said the COVID-19 restrictions around hospitals made it extremely difficult for the family to be together during his time and meant Noah’s older siblings barely got to meet him.
“His funeral was on the 18th and they were able to get their baby at rest,” she said.
“It was a beautiful service, they were only able to invite a few of us but we got to say our hellos and goodbyes.”
Ms Cutajar said Noah’s condition had come as a surprise to the family as Winnie’s first pregnancies went smoothly and his two older siblings were healthy and well.
“It was a massive surprise to know their baby wasn’t perfect, from that point on their world did get turned upside-down.”
Donations to the fundraiser organised for the support of baby Noah will go towards a new cot in the hospital’s intensive care unit.
Further details: gofundme.com/for-noah-amp-his-family