Former Resident, Callum McNair has congenital heart disease. Callum participated in the Two Feet and a Heartbeat Charity Walk in Adelaide on 10th September.

The 2.1 kilometre Charity Walk reminds us that the human heart begins to beat at 21 days after conception.

The Charity Walk across Australia is in support of HeartKids and their families affected by congenital and childhood heart disease.

Callum, 24, was born six weeks prematurely, and nearly died at birth. He had a complex heart abnormality. The right side of his heart is smaller than that of a normal heart, and the main vessels in his heart have swapped positions. His pulmonary artery closed, meaning that Callum has half a heart.

He has seven holes in his heart and had his first major heart operation when he was about one month old. 

Since then he has had 13 operations, including five open-heart operations.

“Before my last lot of operations I could not even walk ten metres without stopping for a rest and I looked purple,” Callum said.

“Thanks to modern day medical science it is not obvious that I have a heart disease.”

Callum said he completed the 2.1 kilometre Charity Walk continuously and with ease, saying it was “amazing”, given his condition.

“Before my last open-heart operation some 15 years ago, I could not have continuously walked 21 metres, let alone 2.1 kilometres.”

“It is great to now be able to participate in events like this. Without the cardiologists and cardiac surgeons and the support of HeartKids I would not be as fit and healthy as I am today.”

Learn more about childhood heart disease and HeartKids.