THE FAMILY of a little girl from Caerwent, who suffers from a rare heart condition are helping the charity that has supported them over the years.

Four-year-old, Amelia Hine’s uncurable heart condition, tricuspid atresia, was discovered during her mum's 20-week scan.

It was explained to Lisa and Paul Hine that their then unborn child would have to undergo surgery at least three times and would need a heart transplant in the future.

That was just the beginning of a long and hard road for Amelia, now aged four and of course for her mum and dad.

Since then her parents have been supported by the charity Little Hearts Matter, which offers support and information, and raises awareness of those affected when a child has only half a heart, just like Amelia.

In April 2007, Amelia underwent her first heart surgery at Bristol Children’s Hospital.

After an anxious four hour wait they were reunited with their daughter and were able to take her home after six days.

Earlier last year it became clear that Amelia’s heart condition was preventing her from leading a normal life and on August 23, Amelia had another operation.

Mr Hine, aged 36, said: "It was the hardest thing we have ever had to do, saying goodbye to our precious, helpless, little Amelia not knowing what the outcome would be.

"Seven and a half hours later, Amelia had made it to intensive care, but not without a fight."

Her heart was torn during the operation and midway through surgery Amelia had to be put into cardiac arrest for 15 minutes and then her heart shocked back into rhythm.

"We spent six days in the Intensive Care Unit (PICU), within the first day there were complications post surgery," added Mr Hine.

Amelia suffered an irregular heart beat and developed pneumonia. A collapsed left lung and fluid build up in both lungs resulted in drains being inserted.

The family are now determined to support the charity that has supported them.

Mr Hine said: "During our four wonderful years with Amelia, our times spent in hospital and meeting other parents, we’ve come to realise the serious lack of awareness regarding congenital heart disease."

The family has arranged a fund-raising gala ball on February 19, 2011 at St Pierre Country Club, Chepstow for Little Hearts Matter and the children's cardiac unit at The university of Wales Hospital, Cardiff.

Tickets and more information is available through