Smart Arts to raise money for Children’s Heart Surgery Fund

Smart Arts to raise money for Children’s Heart Surgery Fund

3rd February 2016 in Applied News, Charity

The team at Smart Arts will this year be raising money for the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund due to the experience that Head of Development Andrew Womersley and his wife Keely have been through with their baby son Harris.

Andrew asked us if we would be willing to help him raise money for the charity and of course, we all said yes! And this is why we’re supporting this fantastic cause…

Little Harris was born on 18 April 2015 at Barnsley Hospital and just 3 days after it was detected that he had a murmur in his heart. He was quickly transferred to the neonatal clinic, and here his father Andrew tells us his amazing story...

“The murmur that was detected by the hospital was caused by a valve
that is open during pregnancy that should close after birth but failed to do so. At the 3 month check up the valve was still open and we were told to
return in another 3 months to see if the valve had closed...

However, when we returned to the clinic the valve was still open, which had caused his aorta to thin and as a consequence, blood wasn’t pumping around his body properly. It was then determined that Harris required open heart surgery to close the valve and remove the thinned part of the artery. Two weeks later Harris was admitted to Leeds General Infirmary and that’s when we discovered the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund (CHSF).

CHSF provide toys, games, books, Playstations and TV’s for the children and accommodation for parents to stay over, so we didn’t have to leave Harris, which was hugely important for us as we were in the hospital for a total of 6 days.

We can not thank CHSF enough for what they have done for Harris and our family. The experience was manageable due to the care and commitment we received, we knew that Harris was in very safe hands and was well looked after! The accommodation for us was exceptional and if it wasn’t for that we would have been travelling to and from the hospital every day and if it wasn’t for the CHSF there wouldn't be a heart surgery unit in Leeds and we would’ve had to go all the way to Newcastle.’’

Harris, Andrew and Keely attended a two month check up after the surgery and were delighted to hear that the consultant was very pleased with the progress Harris had made. His artery had healed very well and it was unlikely that he would need additional surgery. With no implications for later life and his future career, they were over the moon with the news!

The family have already raised £500 for the charity and with the help of Smart Arts, they can raise even more! The fundraising starts with #WearRedInFeb on Friday and we have a number of other events coming up during the course of the year, including the Leeds 10k, a skydive and a fire walk, so keep a lookout!  

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