Leigh’s mother’s fight for scans to detect babies’ heart defects

A mom living with a heart defect is fighting to have scans and checks done to help detect possible heart defects in babies as early as possible.

Amanda-Jane Freemantle, 40, of Leigh, was born with congenital heart disease.

The condition meant that she underwent open heart surgery when she was three months old.

She is now raising awareness and fundraising for the Tiny Tickers charity which supports children with heart disease and their families.

The association runs campaigns to help identify heart disease in babies as early as possible.

Amanda supports Tiny Tickers in her attempt to help sonographers and doctors spot conditions during the 20-week scan. The 20-week scan – the screening for fetal abnormalities offered by the NHS to all expectant mothers – is the best chance to detect heart defects before the baby is born.

But right now, just over half of these life-threatening abnormalities are detected during pregnancy.


Research shows that spotting the disease earlier leads to better survival rates and a better quality of life.

Amanda, who also suffers from lung disease, said: “I was born with a heart defect called congenital heart disease and had open heart surgery at the age of three months at Royal Brompton Hospital, which was terrifying for my mother.

“I also had meningitis and during the checks they found heart disease.

“There was no sign of this during the pregnancy and my mother had no reason, so I think there would be heart problems.”

Amanda, who is now a mom herself, has undergone a number of surgeries to help extend her life.

She said: “I also had open heart operations when I was four and then 14 and had a pacemaker and defibrillator installed on my heart.

“I want people to be aware of the risks and how they should check for any heart problems early as well. “It’s also about making more people aware of the charity. ”

She wants to help raise the profile of the organization that helps expectant mothers and children with heart problems.

She’s hosting an event at the Kids Kingdom in Southend on October 1 starting at 6:30 p.m.

For more information and tickets email [email protected]

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