Rheumatic Fever: A Child’s Perspective

(music) My name is Talia’uli Vete, I’m 11 years old. I play for Mount Roskill District.
When I grow up I want to be a rugby player, for the All Blacks. I’m learning
how to kick like Daniel Carter. One day I went to school where, we were running. I was coming 4th, and suddenly my chest like just started uh feeling like slowing down and I felt so tired and weak. I dropped back and I started coming second to last. I told my mum I was going to die and I nearly died in
the race. He said to me mum, I nearly die at school,
I feel like I don’t have any air, any more air to breathe. The next morning my mum took me to hospital. When the doctor told me
my heart was damaged, I was laughing for a while because I thought it was not true, I thought he was joking, and then um they told me it’s true.
I caught Rheumatic Fever. I was just sitting there crying and looking at
my son and I just said to myself, please don’t tell me that my son is going
to die, because I don’t want to lose him. What I felt was how much I love my son. It’s quite hard to explain how we feel, when
they are like telling us, knowing that there’s something wrong with
his heart. I take injections every month. I have to have
my injections until I’m 21. That’s 10 more years. The doctor told me not
to play rugby for a little while. If I couldn’t play rugby anymore I would just feel like
bored. I thought my sore throat wouldn’t be that dangerous, I thought it would just go away just simply. When you have a sore throat it’s
best to go to a doctor straight away. Sore throats can lead to Rheumatic Fever and
heart damage. If you’re in Porirua or Auckland there may be a free sore throat clinic near
you. Sore throat clinics provide free assessment and treatment to children
and young people aged 4-19. You can find a clinic by calling Healthline
on 0800 611 116 or visiting this website. If you’re not sure what to do, call
Healthline for advice. (Music)

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