Harrogate nursery wears red for toddler with "half a heart"

Baby George Hinkins and his mum Jane. Picture Adrian Murray (1602023AM2)
Baby George Hinkins and his mum Jane. Picture Adrian Murray (1602023AM2)

Staff and infants at a Harrogate nursery are taking part in a regional fundraiser for the charity which helped to save the life of one of their toddlers.

Footprints nursery will be sporting shades of scarlet on Friday February 5 for ‘Wear Red Day’ to raise money for the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund.

Staff, parents and children join George and his mum Jane at Footprints. Picture:  Adrian Murray (1602023AM1)

Staff, parents and children join George and his mum Jane at Footprints. Picture: Adrian Murray (1602023AM1)

The charity helps to fund the Leeds Congenital Heart Unit (LCHU), where two-year-old George Hinkins was saved after he was born with a rare cardiac condition

George’s mother, Jane said: “At 20 weeks they diagnosed then that there was something wrong with the right side of [George’s] heart. When he was born they knew it was Ebstein’s Anomaly.

“The heart condition means that he is having to cope with doing everything that a normal two year old does but with only half of his heart working. He will spend the rest of his life coping with just half a heart.

With his condition detected early Jane was referred to Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) to deliver George so the team at the LCHU could work on him straight away.

At just two, George has been through more in his life than most adults, having already undergone two major open heart surgeries.

Footprints nursery manager, Rachel Aston said: “Although it is Wear Red Day on Friday we are starting on Wednesday and doing it all week because not all children come on Friday so to try and raise as much money and make sure as many people can get involved as possible, we are doing it for longer.

“We are very keen to support it because it’s very personal to the nursery. George has been through such a lot in such a short life.”

The nursery will be one of more than 200 schools and businesses to take part in the red-themed annual fundraiser which is now in its fourth year.

Having raised £48,000 in 2015, the charity hopes to raise even more this year to support the LCHU with new costly standards being implemented by the NHS.

For Jane it is thanks to the charity and the LCHU that her son is alive today.

She said: “He wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the LGI.

“There were stickers all over the equipment, everywhere you looked it said it had been funded by the charity. So much of it is there because of the money that they are raising.”

George will have to avoid cold weather, get tired easily and will even face more surgery in the future, but Jane said it won’t stop him living his life.

Jane said: “We will let him try anything until he finds it too difficult and we hope that he can manage to live his life as much as anyone else.”