Inara Herdman loves music, drawing and craft projects and is very talented for a ten-year-old! She tries not to let the fact that she has only one functioning lung and damage to her heart, caused by a rare birth defect, hold her back. Unfortunately, her condition means she has been confined to her home since February last year – so Satan’s Little Helper wanted to help paint a smile on her face!
Inara is the youngest of four siblings and is very bright and creative. Due to her compromised immune system, she’s been isolating at home with her family but doesn’t let that get in the way of her hobbies. “Inara loves to draw, she loves to climb, she loves to chat to her friends; they all play online games together,” says her mum Bonnie. “She loves her crafts. If we haven’t been able to get her a toy over the years, she’s just gone and made it!” Inara was born between the two big Christchurch earthquakes, with a right-sided diaphragmatic hernia. She had to have major surgery at just ten days old and spent 62 days in NICU while the ground rumbled underneath her. She spent two years on and off oxygen and being tube fed, before her mum and dad, Ryan, raised funds to go to Austria for a specialist programme to help her learn to eat. She takes everything in her stride and has adapted to home-schooling with her mum and brother. “Inara definitely misses the social side of school,” says Bonnie. “Our family lives in a bit of a bubble; it’s been quite isolating.” Despite Inara’s overall health being good over the past few years, she has Progressive Myopia and is losing her sight. “We’re just trying to give her as many experiences as we possibly can. We want to encourage that creative side while she’s still got her sight.” Satan’s Little Helper was right on board with that idea, sending her an iPad loaded with the ProCreate app to help her hone her artistry – and boy has she been creating some impressive work! “She loves it, she’s been drawing loads of pictures!” says Bonnie. “What she’s capable of is far beyond her years.” We’d have to agree!