Rudd's heartfelt appeal for children's health
Kevin Rudd may have lost hearts among political supporters but he is still a favourite with those campaigning to help children with congenital and acquired heart disease.
In a sign that the former prime minister has not yet given up his penchant for national attention, he will today launch a new video message, in which he stars, to raise awareness of childhood heart disease and to promote the support organisation, HeartKids.
Mr Rudd suffered rheumatic fever as a child, and in adulthood had to have a heart valve replaced. He said six Australian babies are born with heart disease every day.
HeartKids Australia's chief executive, Jann Kingston, said: “Mr Rudd's involvement will raise awareness of this devastating disease, which is one of the biggest killers of infants in the first year of life.
“Mr Rudd's openness about his own heart disease experience also delivers a very important message to the 32,000 Australian children under the age of 18 living with heart disease, and their families – including those he met at the hospital [the Mater Children's in Brisbane] today," said Mrs Kingston. "That message is one of hope.
"Life with childhood heart disease is challenging, and, sadly, some do not survive. However, Mr Rudd, Australia's highest-profile 'heart kid', is proof that a near-normal and successful life can be possible, and that heart kids can go on to do great things. You can't underestimate how important that message is.”
The video is being distributed for broadcast as a Community Service Announcement. It can also be seen on the HeartKids website, www.heartkids.org.au
Follow the National Times on Twitter: @NationalTimesAU