Teens are often too busy to keep rooms clean, let alone deal with a lifelong heart defect.
New research at the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute is helping them grow up.
Dr. Andrew Mackie, pediatric cardiologist, says 90 per cent of kids born with heart defects now live to adulthood.
“Not only do they need to show up for adult heart care, but they also need to take on increasing responsibility for their own health,” said Mackie of what prompted a pilot study encouraging 16- and 17-year-olds to transition to adult cardio care.
Annabelle Wardeck, 16, who had surgery at 10 days old, was a participant.
“I think it’s really exciting because it tells me I am growing up,” she said.
Pediatric nurse Gwen Rempel says a big part is educating teens and creating a “passport” of heart history and future care needs and restrictions.