My eldest son Jake who is 10 years old and I plan to hike 7.5 miles from the base of Snowdon at Pen-y-Pass, to the summit and back down on Saturday 12th November in aid of Birmingham Children's Hospital.
My youngest son Harry was born on 5th July, a healthly 8 lbs 2 ozs. Just prior to being allowed home for the first time he had to have an examination. During this check it was highlighted that he had a slight heart murmur, "perfectly normal", "almost 50% of babies have one", "nothing to worry about" so off home we went.
5 weeks went by and all was well with Harry being a lovely colour and increasing in weight.We had no worries when we attended our follow up appointment at Russell's Hall Hospital on Monday 8th August. During this appointment we were told that Harry had some form of defect within his heart which would need further investigation and possible treatment. Within 2 hours of returning home we received a call from the doctor at the hospital saying that he had managed to get us a follow up appointment at Birmingham Children's Hospital the following day.
On arriving at BCH, Harry was seen by one of their consultants, who told us that he had aortic valve stenosis, which means he had an abornomal valve and a bulging on the artery behind which was causing his heart to work at 10 to the dozen to compensate. He told us that Harry would need some form of operation to correct this issue and that we could go home, make whatever arrangements necessary and then return to the hospital to same evening. I can't put into words the feeling's that were rushing through the minds of myself and wife Karen. We were then told that a more senior cardiologist would have to review Harry.
The cardiologist arrived still in theatre attire to check Harry. After an agonising 10 minutes he confirmed what the other consultant had told us, saying that he would like to take a closer look. He instructed us that Harry, although well in his apperance and apparent health, was to be admitted to hospital immediately with a view of having open heart surgery within the next few days.
The world stood still as Karen and I took in the enourmity of what we had just be told. "who did we have to inform", "what did we need to organise", " what about work!" I am trully grateful for the support that we received from family, friends and work collegues, without which I don't know what we would have done.
I returned home leaving Karen and Harry, inorder to collect my eldest son Jake and daughter Ruby who is 3 years old.
Harry had open heart surgery on Thursday 11th August to improve the function of his heart. After his operation the surgeon told us that Harry would need a further procedure within the next 6 weeks to 6 months.
During Harry's stay in hospital, Karen and I stayed within the parent's accomodation, which was a tremendous help being close to our poorly little lad. Karen's mum kindly kept home and took on the care for two other children.
Just over one week after the operation Harry was allowed to come home. On a follow up appointment we have been told that Harry is recovery extremely well and now the need for a further procedure with be later rather than sooner.
This has been a trully humbling experience to see the "miraculous" work that is being carried out at Birmingham Children's Hospital on a daily basis, to many 100's of very poorly children and by true professionals, "Just doing the day job!!"
This year Birmingham Children's Hospital are raising funds to increase the size of their cardiac department, so even more children can receive their treatment sooner. I commit that I will do all I can to help raise funds for this extremely worthwhile cause now and in the future.
Thank you for taking the time to visit Jake and Steve's JustGiving page.
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity and make sure Gift Aid is reclaimed on every eligible donation by a UK taxpayer. So it’s the most efficient way to donate - I raise more, whilst saving time and cutting costs for the charity.
So please dig deep and donate now.
Saturday 29th October 2011
2 weeks to go ...........
I'm shocked(in a good way!) and totally overwhelmed with the sponsorship, kind words and support that has been given to mine and Jake Phipps climb of Snowdon on Saturday 12th November. You are without a doubt the best friends, family and work colleagues(friends) that anyone could want. Please accept my heart felt thanks x
So far...........(drum roll)..... we have raised a terriffic £335 in just one week.
Friday 4th November
Absolutely amazing we have just smashed my target.......current amount stands at £510. Thank to everyone for your kind words, thoughts and sponsorship.
Wednesday 9th November, 3 days to go
MW3 has arrived so I have given jake the day off from training....
I'm overwhelmed with the support and kind words I have received from friends, family and work colleagues.
The new total raised for Birmingham Children's Hospital is £680
Thank you so very much x
10th November 2011
Harry has just had his follow up appointment at Birminghham Children's Hospital and they are extremely pleased with his progess. His heart function has improved greatly although there is a slight thinning of an artery, which may resolve itself as he grows.....fingers crossed.
Today has served as a timely reminder of the amazing work carried out by the staff at BCH.
Climbed Snowdon via Pyg and Miners track, 2.5 hours on the way up and 2 hours back. Hard work but well worth it!