‘In October 2015 my twin girls, Martha and Ivy, were born. Ivy was born with Transposition of the great arteries, a complex congenital heart defect which means that the top of her heart was the wrong way round with the wrong connections to her lungs and the rest of the body. Ivy was transferred to Alder Hey children’s hospital and had open heart surgery at 8 weeks old, which started the repair process and was ‘fixed’ in January this year. Every year around 4000 babies are born with a heart defect in the UK our children’s hospitals have some of the best cardiology departments in the world. We are so lucky that we have such an incredible and progressive NHS to ensure that children like Ivy are given the best chance of a full life.
Through our time at Alder Hey we learned that one of the wonderful surgeons, Ram Dhannapuneni, along with some of the nurses, frequently gives up his own time and skills for free to Healing Little Hearts, a small charity that sends teams of volunteers from PICU and cardiology departments out to hospitals to treat the poorest of children who come from families that do not have the resources to pay for their healthcare.
Healing Little Hearts (HLH) was launched as an official registered charity in 2007 provides Free Heart Surgery to those that need it the most. Their work started out in India but recently we have branched out into Africa (Kenya, Tanzania), Maurituis and Malaysia.
This wonderful charity is working tirelessly to makes the lives of those born in places where their need for surgery is not always met, have the chance to lead a full, happy and healthy life.
Their aim is to continue branching out and the money raised to support camps ensures that each team stays for one week and operates on between 10-12 children per trip; the precise numbers varies. It also allows the team to train junior doctors and nurses in children’s heart care with the eventual aim of helping the centres to become more self-sustaining.
This wonderful charity is working tirelessly to makes the lives of those born in places where their need for surgery is not always met, have the chance to lead a full, happy and healthy life, just like Ivy.’