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’


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    "Elijah unfortunately couldn't take part in surfing with Beavers on Sunday due to the company not being insured for a person with a heart condition.So, daddy took him to the nearest beach shop and got him a body board, he had a brilliant morning despite being upset initially.It was an eye opener for us, seeking clarification what business insurances cover with certain activities. We hope other families can take something from this x"A huge thank you to heart-mum Michelle for sharing this with us. ... See MoreSee Less

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