The Love Hearts appeal
To celebrate turning 21, Catherine and her family set up the Love Hearts appeal, with author Bill Bryson as its patron.
"We formed the charity because we felt it was the right time to give something back to GOSH, the place that really gave me a second chance"
What the Love Hearts appeal funds
The Love Hearts appeal funds groundbreaking research that could help save the lives of children undergoing heart transplants.
Thanks to the commitment of all those who have supported the Love Hearts Appeal, we have already successfully funded:
- A new cubicle in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
- A pioneering research project looking at how the use of a child’s own immune cells may help reduce the future need for so many anti-rejection drugs after transplant.
Our next focus:
We are now raising money to fund the necessary paediatric adaptations to the Royal Papworth Hospital designed system (mOrgan), which will allow the donated heart to be warmed with oxygenated blood at the usual body temperature and given all the nutrients required to keep it as healthy as possible.
This ‘mini – intensive care ‘ system allows the donated heart to be restarted after having been removed from the donor, and kept in a safe, controlled environment, properly inspected until the child is ready to receive the gifted heart.
It is envisaged that such a system will help prevent ‘losing’ many of the hearts that are never used , but which could have been, had the donated heart been given the best care after the donation has been agreed.
Catherine says: “By starting up a heart soon after the donor has died and keeping it in a healthy environment just makes a lot of sense and this system will allow children to benefit from this for the first time – a world’s first! The money raised will help develop this system and test it before being introduced into clinical practice. The sooner this is raised, the sooner those children on the waiting list for a heart transplant can be helped.”
Bill Bryson, patron of the Love Hearts Appeal:
"Nothing is more precious than a child's life. Please support this vital campaign."