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.


How is energy made?

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. 


Whats different if i have half a working heart?

Children and Young people with a single ventricle heart (half a working heart) have less energy than their peers because they may have less oxygen in their blood and only have one of the two pumps 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.

 “A normal 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 gain 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).

How can i manage my energy?

To help you understand your energy levels in an easier way, Little Hearts Matter have introduced The energy project with spoons.  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 helps you balance your day to day life and get as much out of it as possible. It is also a useful way to explain to your friends, teachers and parents how and why you get more out of breath or tired.

Using the spoon theory, Little Hearts Matter and our youth members produced and starred in a film explaining what having half a heart can do to their energy levels. You can see this film, our poster and more information by clicking the energy project link below.

We also have links to some great stories about energy management from some of our youth members and some handy hints and tips on how to manage your daily energy levels.

If you would like to learn more about Little Hearts Matter’s

‘Energy Project with Spoons’


Be social with us - our latest tweets and posts

    "Finally back in preschool this week after 6 months at home!!! ❤️💕 To say that Elliot was happy to finally get to play with his friends would be a massive understatement 😍"

    "Thank you so much Little Hearts Matter for the teacher information pack we have given to Elliot’s preschool. It is reassuring to know that they now have all the information they need to keep him safe and support him in the best possible way ❤️"

    Feedback like this really makes our day. This fantastic message came from Anna, mum to Elliot who has DILV, awaiting his Fontan surgery in the next few months. Thank you Anna. We have been working hard to create new resources for our members and we are so pleased that you found the teachers pack useful.

    Half a heart, not half a life x
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    LHM Brave Heart Awards! Empowering young people living with half a working heart today.

    Maybe you know an LHM youth member who has achieved something great or has shown a real understanding of their heart condition? Let’s give them some recognition with a Brave Heart Award!

    You can nominate a young person with half a heart for a Brave Heart Award by going to our website here:
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    10 hours ago  ·  

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