New ward needs equipment to help tiny hearts

As the hospital prepares for the opening of Alligator Ward in October, we’re fundraising for life-saving cardiac equipment like ventilators, defibrillators and heart monitors to help heal thousands more little hearts. Donate to our Helping Hearts appeal now.

George’s life was saved by heart surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) when he was three months old. His mum Lucy can still remember the moment the nurse at her routine 20-week pregnancy scan told her there was something wrong with her baby’s tiny heart.

Doctors later found a narrowed valve and a large hole between two of the chambers. Lucy was devastated. After baby George was born, his heart would struggle to pump enough oxygen-rich blood around his little body. 

Close monitoring

“When they referred us to GOSH I just felt relief,” Lucy said. At GOSH Lucy and her husband knew they were in safe hands. Newborns are too small for major surgery so George waited 12 weeks – with his oxygen levels closely monitored – while he grew bigger and stronger.

Waiting for the operation was close to unbearable for Lucy. She said: “it was the hardest time I’ve ever had to go through”. Lucy couldn’t take George out for fear he would catch an infection. If he cried his oxygen levels could become dangerously low. Yet keeping a baby from crying is next to impossible. At night, Lucy often struggled to sleep, her mind consumed by worry.

A nervous wait

“After his operation, I felt I could breathe for the first time in months,” Lucy said.

George had his operation at 14 weeks old. Lucy and her husband waited for seven hours while specialists performed the intricate procedure to patch a hole in his heart. When the surgery was over, George then relied on ventilators and heart monitors in intensive care.

Now back home, George loves cuddles from his mum.

“He’s a real character, he’s cheeky, funny and a very happy little boy,” Lucy said. “I don’t think I’d have been able to get through if it wasn’t for the nurses. They really helped me.”

Your gift will help us treat more babies like George

Just £20 could help fund a portable heart monitor for children so weak that their hearts are in constant danger. It could fund a specialist bed that protects delicate skin from pressure sores and speed up recovery or it could fund a defibrillator to restart a child’s heart during a cardiac arrest.

Find out more about our Helping Hearts Appeal or donate now.

Donate now