When Isaiah Salisbury received a package in the mail containing a Heart Kids T-shirt and a name tag he was "really excited".
It meant the 10-year-old Whangārei boy would be one of about 90 Kiwi kids with congenital heart defects attending a special camp in Auckland this week run by Heart Kids - an organisation providing care and support for children, young people and families affected by childhood heart defects.
"I was really happy. When they sent me this package I was even more happy because you need the T-shirt and name tag so that they know who you are. I was real happy to get this," Isaiah said.
Isaiah had heart surgery when he was 3-months-old for three heart conditions - patent ductus arteriosus, a condition where a blood vessel that allows the blood to skip the circulation to the lungs doesn't shrink and close after birth; a ventricular septal defect, a hole in the wall separating the two lower chambers of the heart; and an artrial septal defect, a hole in the wall between the heart's upper chambers.
The Camp Braveheart is the second Heart Kids camp Isaiah has attended. His mum said she liked Heart Kids events because they empowered Isaiah.
"He's quite small for his size and yet he's two years older than my second son (who is taller). Often he's a bit slower or he gets a bit worn out and so it's really good to have things that he can be empowered by," she said.
Dawn said he had so much fun at the last camp, he wanted to attend this year.
"He asked me about it and I said I'd check it out. The due date had just been, but they still allowed us to get in so it was quite cool. It was all instigated by him."
Isaiah - who also has scoliosis - said there was kayaking, swimming and lots of activities at the last camp he attended.
He said he was excited about this year's camp as it was car-themed and he was in the mustang group.
"I can't wait to see cars because my dad thinks there might be a car show. I really like cars. I can't wait to make my own costume and I'm going to do my best to make a car so when I get down on my knees I'll try make myself look like a car."
It's not the first opportunity Isaiah has received through Heart Kids. Last year he went to California for a couple of weeks which he said was "really fun".
Isaiah said he felt more confident after the first camp he attended.
"At the end of the camp there's a prize giving. Each adult decide on who is being the best kid, and the first one I was chosen."
Isaiah is flying to Auckland today for the four-day camp.