My Kitchen Rules

MKR Exclusive: Lisa's son John was just a baby when he had open-heart surgery

“We almost lost him.”

By Helen Vnuk
Within minutes of Lisa sitting down with TV WEEK, she's in tears. As MKR viewers will come to see, the WA mum wears her heart on her sleeve, and isn't afraid to show her emotions.
Right now, she's talking about something that happened 27 years ago – her son John having open-heart surgery.
"I'm still traumatised," Lisa, 55, says.
A day after John's birth, Lisa was told he had a hole in his heart. The cardiologist advised her it would probably close up by itself. Instead, it got bigger.
"They decided at six weeks old that he would have to have surgery," she remembers. "They didn't do the surgery until he was 22 months old, because it's easier to operate on a toddler than on a newborn baby."
The surgery went for nearly six hours.
"They actually opened up his chest and stopped his heart from beating. It was really awful and a really tough time in our lives."
Happily, John grew up to be a healthy, strong football player.
"He's really fit now," Lisa says proudly. "Look at him – a healthy, beautiful boy."
The strong bond between the mother and son is easy to see on MKR. Lisa – who also has two daughters, Elani and Mia – says John has always been affectionate.
"He never went through that stage where he would pretend he didn't know me," she explains. "Even at 13, 14, he would get off the school bus and come and give us all a hug."
John, who's now 29, has been married for two years, but still keeps in close contact with his mum.
"We are genuinely good friends," he says. "Mum and I will talk on the phone every day pretty much."
John and his wife Chloe are planning to have children themselves. However, John reveals it's taking a bit longer than they were hoping.
"You say, 'Oh, yeah – we're going to have a baby; it's going to be super-fun!'" he explains. "Then it actually becomes not very fun when things don't go to plan. We're hoping for better news soon."
There's one person on the show who's convinced John's dream to have a child will soon become a reality.
Anne, the psychic from Victoria, read John's cards during one of the Instant Restaurants.
"He has a baby," Anne, 46, tells TV WEEK. "His wife will probably fall pregnant soon."

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