Pop Up Kitchen give a heartfelt $6150 donation to HeartKids SA

HEART: Pop Up Kitchen members Tania Drobnjak, HeartKids Coordinator Nicole Carter, Argiri Kotsomitis and Elpida Vlachoulis.
HEART: Pop Up Kitchen members Tania Drobnjak, HeartKids Coordinator Nicole Carter, Argiri Kotsomitis and Elpida Vlachoulis.

A special donation of $6150 by the Pop Up Kitchen could end up saving the lives of hundreds of newborn babies.

The money was donated to HeartKids SA, and will go towards saturation monitors which will support local families.

The monitors can help to diagnose a heart condition in a baby at birth, giving them a better outlook on life.

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Regional Families Support Coordinator Nicole Carter said there are families who HeartKids support who have lost a child due to not having access to a saturation monitor at birth.

“This money will go towards saturation monitors for the Whyalla Hospital and the Port Augusta Hospital, where they will be part of a new trial to test the oximetry levels of all new-born babies,” she said.

“The group of professionals who are on the board of this trial are hopeful that the monitors will then become part of everyday practice at every hospital. It’s going to be quite groundbreaking.”

Ms Carter knows all to well the perils of heart disease, with her own child born with multiple undiagnosed heart conditions.

“If  the practice to test every new-born babies oximetry levels at birth where in place at the time of our child’s birth, he may have been diagnosed earlier on. Some of the issues he faces now at 10 years old are because he was undiagnosed at birth,” she said.

“That’s why I’m so passionate about oximetry testing in new-borns. Our son almost died at the age of 3 months because he was in heart failure and his body was shutting down by the time it was detected.”

The funds were raised as part of the Pop Up Kitchen’s most recent Long Lazy Lunch, held at the Whyalla Yacht Club on June 30.

Pop Up Kitchen member Argiri Kotsomitis said community response to the lunch had been overwhelming.

“We had a packed house, the feedback was amazing. The generosity around town from the businesses was incredible, we thank everyone who contributed to this from the bottom of our hearts,” she said.

“HeartKids was one of the potential charities for us to donate to. We like to pick something that’s local so we know the money is going to stay in Whyalla and surrounds – HeartKids is definitely doing that.”

Ms Kotsomitis said each new event hosted by the Pop Up Kitchen was becoming bigger and better than the last.

“We get a lot of feedback, suggesting us to try different things. We are all very passionate about this,” she said.

The Pop Up Kitchen thanked all those who attended the lunch, and both business and individuals who donated towards the cause.

They also thanked King’s Signs for producing their cheque, and the volunteers who assisted with hosting the lunch.