Our Stories

The consequences of rheumatic heart disease aren’t limited to those living with the disease, they’re felt by entire communities. These are their stories of courage, persistence and hope.

Billi-Joh’s story: diagnosed with RHD aged eight

Billi-Joh’s story: diagnosed with RHD aged eight

Meet Billi-Joh. She’s 15 years old, and lives in a remote Aboriginal community at the top of Western Australia. Like many teenagers, her mum says that she’s still finding her place in the world.

What sets her apart from her peers is that she is navigating the ups and downs of adolescence while also living with rheumatic heart disease.

Read More
Carol’s Story: Losing A Parent To RHD

Carol’s Story: Losing A Parent To RHD

Carol Michie lost her mother when she was just ten years old to RHD. More than four decades later, she says she cannot believe the disease continues to take the lives of and affect “so many of our mob”.

Read More
Margie’s Story: Parent To A Child With ARF

Margie’s Story: Parent To A Child With ARF

When Liana complained of a sore foot and showed signs of a fever, her mum Margie rushed her to hospital. An X-ray of her foot revealed no obvious injury, so she was sent home and advised to take painkillers.

But Margie persisted. She took Liana to her local clinic a few days later, where the doctor ordered blood tests, suspecting acute rheumatic fever (ARF) – the precursor to rheumatic heart disease.

Read More
Sarah’s Story: Living With RHD

Sarah’s Story: Living With RHD

At 12 years of age, Sarah* was flown out of her community after a week of feeling unwell, breathless and with rapidly beating heart.

Read More