Learn about what the Love Hearts appeal is fundraising for in Great Ormond Street Hospital.
The Love Hearts appeal has raised over £110,000 to fund a new cubical on our state-of-the-art Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, called Flamingo Ward.
The new Cardiac Intensive Care Unit is situated on the fourth floor of the Morgan Stanley Clinical Building in the Mittal Children's Medical Centre. The unit has much more space and natural light, and artwork has been incorporated into areas to enrich the environment, promote wellbeing, and provide essential distraction for our young patients and their families.
This would not have been possible without the MacLachlan family and our amazing Love Hearts Appeal supporters; they have been spreading awareness of the importance of organ donations and raising vital funds.
As the appeal moves forward, it will be funding research projects which take place at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) into cardiac conditions in paediatric patients. GOSH is a world leader in treating children with complex heart conditions. It is the largest referral centre for children with heart disorders in the UK, and the largest centre for paediatric heart transplantation in the world.
The Love Hearts appeal is currently funding research into the investigation of heart transplantation aftercare, in particular how we can ensure patient’s bodies are healthy enough to live a normal life. This includes research into the effects of removing a tiny organ from the heart, called the thymus during a heart transplant procedure.
The thymus sits just above the heart and due to its position it is removed at the very beginning of a heart transplant operation. The thymus is an important organ in its own right as it’s where special white blood cells called T-regs develop; these play a key role in controlling the immune system.
Dr Mike Burch and his team are researching whether the removal of the thymus is leaving children with low levels of T-regs which may lead to a life-threatening condition called Cardiac Allograft Vasculopathy (CAV) after a heart transplant.
If the team are able to prove this theory it may open up new ways of caring for children after heart transplants.