And Doncaster mother Charlotte Swan is asking schools, businesses and individuals in the area to wear red for her son Hugo and raise vital funds.
For over 30 years, CHSF has supported the Leeds Congenital Cardiology Unit, which treats patients from Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire and the Humber and is recognized as a ‘world-class center of excellence in cardiac care’.
Hugo was diagnosed at the age of ten weeks and six days with multiple heart problems: ventricular septal defect (a hole in the heart), hypoplastic aortic arch and coarctation of the aorta.
He had to undergo six-hour open-heart surgery at the specialist cardiac unit at Leeds Children’s Hospital in October last year.
Charlotte said: “Hugo was born with a slight heart murmur. Hugo was gaining weight, achieving milestones and looking like a very healthy baby. Due to a heart murmur, Hugo suffered a routine echocardiogram and was diagnosed at nine weeks of age.
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“Hugo underwent hypoplastic aortic arch repair, VSD closure and coarctation relief (six hour operation).
“The staff at LGI were absolutely amazing, and Hugo was treated with so much love and care by absolutely everyone in the department. Likewise, the support that myself and Hugo’s father received was amazing! Not to mention the support we received from Hugo’s consultant in Doncaster.
“CHSF provided us with accommodation so that myself and Hugo’s father could stay nearby while Hugo recovered at PICU and HDU. They also provided Hugo with his little bear, his medal and his certificate for being such a brave little boy.
“Hugo’s operation was a huge success and he shouldn’t need any further operations – everything is fine. We feel lucky that Hugo’s condition is a repair job, which shouldn’t be necessary. affect him to do anything throughout his life.
“That said, while Hugo was in hospital, I met some incredible people whose journeys are not as straightforward as ours. The charity provides essential support to children and families in their most difficult times. We will always continue to show our appreciation to LGI. They gave life to our baby and we will be eternally grateful to them.
She added: “Without the support of CHSF, we would not have been able to stay with our baby. So please support Wear Red Day. The CHSF is a fantastic charity and makes life a little easier for other families during difficult, stressful and worrying times for them.
On average, 13 babies every day in the UK are diagnosed with a heart defect – with more diagnoses later in life. Congenital heart disease is the most common birth defect in the UK, affecting around one in every 100 babies born.
The CHSF has donated several million pounds to the Leeds Congenital Cardiology Unit through public support since its inception in 1988. The money goes towards lifesaving equipment, accommodation for much-needed parents, essential facilities for the ward, medical research and direct family support.
The annual Wear Red Day event raised over £330,000.
Supporters can register for the event at http://chsf.org.uk/wear-red-day and will receive a free online pack with fundraising ideas and tips.
For SMS donations, please text CHSFWRD (plus any amount up to £20) to 70085.