Energy

Living with half a heart can mean you face many different challenges. One of which is not having as much energy as your friends. This is because your body finds it harder to produce the energy it needs to do simple day to day activities.

Energy is made in every cell of the body from the oxygen, food and water transported in the blood and pumped around the body by the heart. 

 Children and Young people with a single ventricle heart, half a working heart, have less energy than their peers because they have less oxygen in their blood and only have half the pump needed to drive blood around to every cell. 

Doctors who have researched this say that most heart healthy teenagers run at 100% energy level at rest and are able to increase that to 500% on activity. Young people with half a heart run on a normal energy level of between 50% and 75% which can only rise to 200% when active. 

Every activity in a day takes up energy, walking, talking even digesting food. It also takes a huge amount of energy to concentrate and remember information or instructions.

So to help you understand your energy levels in an easier way, Little Hearts Matter have introduced The Spoon Theory.  This is a great tool for you to plan your day and make sure you have enough energy to complete activities like going out with your friends or completing homework. It is also a useful way to explain to your friends, teachers and parents how you get more out of breath or tired.

The Spoon Theory was first introduced by Christine Miserandino who needed a way to explain to her friend about her condition, Lupus. She found using spoons was a helpful way to show how fast her energy reduced throughout the day. She used 12 spoons to represent the amount of energy she started the day with and sometimes this reduced to no energy left at the end of the day.

Using this theory, some of our youth members adapted it to explain their heart condition. One of the youth members explains, “A normally person starts their day with 20 spoons of energy, just what they need for the day ahead. Throughout the day everybody loses spoons, as they do activities like walking to school, and gains spoons, for example when they take a rest or eat.  However, people with heart conditions, like me, start each day with 10 spoons.” Lucy (13).

Using this Little Hearts Matter and our youth members produced and starred in their film explaining what having half a heart can do to their energy levels.

Be social with us - our latest tweets and posts

    2 weeks on from our initial release of the ‘Wrap a Blanket’ video and we have reached over twenty five thousand people so far. An incredible amount of awareness has been raised. We have also filled our first blanket on the Visufund page, thank you so much to everyone for making this happen!

    But to support every heart-family, we are going to need to fill even more blankets. We are confident in you, our generous supporters, to help us reach our goal of filling 3 blankets by Christmas.

    Click here to purchase a patch and support children born with half a heart this Christmas: visufund.co.uk/lhm-wrap-a-blanket-2

    Remember, every share counts, thank you ❤
    ... See MoreSee Less

    3 hours ago  ·  

    View on Facebook

    In 2020, as many as 550 new families will receive the life changing news that their baby has only half a working heart. They will all feel frightened, isolated and overwhelmed with new information.

    Help us to support them with this devastating news and to feel part of the LHM family. The half-a-heart journey truly is a rollercoaster, but we are here for these incredibly brave families every step of the way.

    To be able to support all of the heart-families out there, we need your generosity this Christmas.

    So please, make a donation to our Visufund page by clicking here: visufund.co.uk/lhm-wrap-a-blanket-2,

    Don’t forget that every share counts, thank you ❤
    ... See MoreSee Less

    21 hours ago  ·  

    View on Facebook