On 7th November 2012 Macy Cruickshanks completed the happy, loving Cruickshanks family. She was a beautiful bundle of joy, loved by her entire family especially her big sister and brother Libby and Sam. Mum Helen, my friend, soon suspected something wasn't right with her little Macy but was told she was an overprotective mother. Finally after 2 weeks and 2 days a midwife sent Macy to the hospital and luckily she was seen by a consultant with cardiac training. He performed a scan and discovered Macy had a condition called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy which means the muscle around Macys heart was thickened and weak. Macy was immediately transferred by emergency ambulance to the Royal Brompton.
It was here that Helen and Paul were dealt the devastating news that Macy could not survive with her heart the way it was. To add to the pain they were also told that is was 95% likely to be genetic and hereditary - which then put Libby and Sam in the frame too.
Macy shocked all staff at the hospital as a baby that poorly should never have survived birth let alone 2 weeks of life thus far. Although she did start to deteriorate rapidly whilst in the Brompton and her heart stopped beating several times. On 28th November 2012 Macy underwent open heart surgery - her only hope of survival. Amazingly, she made it through the surgery having been given only a 50/50 chance. Due to swelling, her chest was not closed, so she had a little dressing on with a heart shape cut out - this allowed the doctors to monitor what was going on in her chest. Macy fought so hard for 3 weeks with minimal physical contact from her mummy, daddy and siblings due to her open chest. However, on 20th December 2012 she was able to have her cuddle with mummy Helen and daddy Paul as she grew her angel wings. Her little body could not fight the fight any longer. She was surrounded by all who loved her minus Libby and Sam.
Helen and Paul then had to face Christmas with a brave face to try and protect Libby and Sam from all they had suffered knowing that their lives would never be the same again.
Since losing Macy, Helen and Paul both vowed to raise much needed funds and awareness to try and prevent any other family from suffering what they have had to go through. That's how 'Team Macy' was formed. It started as a blog on Helens facebook to keep friends updated on Macys progress whilst in hospital. Helen found great comfort in all the support from everyone over those lonely nights at the Brompton. Since then a facebook page and website have been created to support and now it has become a non profit charity that has raised 54K in the last 4 years for CHD charities and so much awareness of CHD.
Helen and Paul both amaze friends and family with their courage and drive to live their life for Macy. Helen has gone from couch to 5K - to running her 3rd marathon and endless half marathons dragging me along with her!! :-)
So once again we are running with every heartbeat - because we can!
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