Heart op mum’s plea to wear red for unit

A Wetherby mum whose son’s life was saved by heart surgeons is urging schools to get involved in the campaign to keep the Leeds children’s heart surgery open.

The controversial recommendation to shut the LGI’s children’s heart surgery unit was taken earlier this year, but campaigners across the region have vowed to fight on and appeal the decision.

Now a 36-year-old Wetherby mum, who wishes to remain anonymous, will be one of many fundraising as part of a ‘wear red to school day’ to raise money for The Children’s Heart Surgery Fund.

The mum-of-two, whose 13-year-old son had open heart surgery at just three weeks old, told the News this week: “The surgeons who saved his life were absolutely fantastic.

“After he was born I kept saying to people that he was not right, he was really poorly.”

After taking her son to Harrogate District Hospital, he was transferred to the LGI for open heart surgery after it was discovered the youngster suffered from an extremely rare heart condition.

“The surgeons were fantastic. It was a very complex and major operation and they saved his life.

“My son would not be here if he had not had the operation.

“By doing this fundraiser we hope to raise awareness of this important issue.

“If the service closes, children will die.”

Meanwhile, a legal bid by campaigners to take action against the closure has been put on hold until February pending the results of an independent review.

Surgery at the Leeds unit has been under threat as part of a review of children’s heart surgery services in England.

Under the plans, the nearest services will be in Newcastle and Liverpool.

The wear red to school day will be on December 7 with a number of schools taking part including Primrose Lane in Boston Spa.