Variety of the Northern Territory

To the outside world, beautiful Stella Condie looks like any other happy and carefree 9 year old girl, but sadly on the inside, Stella has a ticking timebomb, which could end her young life at any time.

Diagnosed with a rare heart condition earlier this year, Stella lives daily with the disease Doctors are yet to confirm the name of. Sadly for Stella, she has a healthy heart, but it is the cartilage surrounding her heart that contains a virus which can cause her to go into Sudden Cardiac Arrest without warning.

The family, in a desperate bid to save their daughter, set up a fundraising Facebook page called Stella’s Defibrillator, to raise the vital funds to enable them to purchase an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to have at home in case Stella has a cardiac arrest, buying Stella the precious time needed until the paramedics arrive. The local Community was extremely supportive of the cause, with vital funds raised within weeks of the Facebook page going live.

In order to have enough funds for the family Variety NT were delighted to be able to financially support St John Ambulance (NT) and Stella Condie with the purchase of this vital equipment for Stella.

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With Variety NT’s assistance, St John’s Ambulance provided a HS1 defibrillation unit, 2 sets of defib pads, a first aid kit and two CPR courses for her parents, in the hope that this will make a difference. With the funds that were donated through the Facebook page, the family have purchased an additional defibrillator for Stella’s tennis coach Sam Giess, to have on hand at the Palmerston Tennis Club when Stella has her tennis lessons, a passion she refuses to give up.

Her family would like to make as many people aware of Stella’s case in the hope that should she go into Cardiac Arrest in public, someone will be able to assist. “We desperately want our girl to lead as normal a life as possible, but if by making her condition public knowledge saves her life, then that is the best outcome we can hope for”, stated Bridgett Condie, Stella’s Mum.

Sadly for Stella, she is a very reluctant star and only wants to be a normal child and not be treated any differently. She does not want to be singled out for her illness, but her parents are positive that by making the public aware of her condition, that it may save her life.

This story highlights the strategic push by Variety NT to secure alliances/partnerships with a range of organisations with a view of reaching as many children in need as possible.

Additionally, the social impact of this story also demonstrates not only the impact on a child’s life, but to that of the family and the community in assisting Stella have a normal life.

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