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Aussie Boy Sends Heartfelt Thanks to Prophet

Looking at Benjamin, you would think he's a normal 10-year-old. He plays soccer, basketball, catches lizards and snakes, and loves to eat (especially pizza!).

However, Benjamin also has a heart condition, Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.

Basically he has half a heart.

The three surgeries needed were long, hard, and required his heart to stop beating in order for the surgeons to operate on him so that he could live. This required the use of the heart lung machine for the surgeries to be successful.

Ben's life has been extremely full, with love of life and adventure.

So when Sister Joy D. Jones and Sister Bonnie H. Cordon visited the Ipswich West Stake for our activity for the drought stricken struggling farmers, he had a letter ready to give to Sister Jones, to give to President Nelson, thanking him for his contributions to the heart community.


Part of Ben's letter reads:

“I have HLHS but I still get to do all the things I love, except rugby. I wanted to say thank-you for all your hard work helping people like me. Mum told me that you helped to build a machine to help people like me so we could have the surgeries we need to live. Thankyou. When I had my fontan surgery I knew I would be ok because  Heavenly Father told me I would be. I'm thankful for the Gospel and the peace it brings to me.”

Sister Jones promised Ben to deliver the letter personally to the Prophet. Ben felt so blessed to have met and spoken to both Sister Jones and Sister Cordon.

By Samantha Orth, mother of Benjamin Orth

Editor's note: A world-renowned heart surgeon, President Nelson helped develop the first artificial heart-lung machine. (It basically takes over the jobs of the heart and lungs during heart surgery.) He then used it to perform the first open-heart surgery in Utah. He went on to perform open-heart surgeries on many more people, including President Spencer W. Kimball. Read more at

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