Why we started George's fund
George had open heart surgery at GOSH in April 2018. His mum, Alexa, tells us about their journey, and why they started George’s TeamGOSH Fund. With incredible support from their local community, they've raised more than £15,750 so far!
“George's heart journey began at just four hours old when his wellbeing rapidly deteriorated and we entered the world of the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Hearing the news that our newborn son had to be put into an induced coma will never leave us.
“George was diagnosed with a rare congenital heart condition (CHD) called Ebstein Anomaly (EA). He was in hospital for his first few weeks, but thankfully his condition improved enough with the use of medications that surgery wasn't needed immediately.
“We received our first letter from Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) just before George's second birthday which said, ‘GOSH has a worldwide reputation for treating some of the most seriously ill children in the UK and the world.’ It's a letter you never expect as a parent to land in your own home.
“George had life-changing open heart surgery in April 2018 to repair one of his heart valves (tricuspid valve). The surgery has been such a success that George’s heart has started to change shape for the better and he always has warm hands and feet which he never had before.
“Medical professionals now look at George's heart in admiration of the masterpiece that was created by his surgeon. George will need support throughout his whole childhood and life as he developed another rare heart condition after surgery. This is monitored daily at GOSH by the Cardiac Pacing team via a loop recorder that is placed under his armpit.”
George and his parents on Bear Ward
Setting up a TeamGOSH Fund
To give back to the hospital, Alexa and her husband, Daniel, set up a Team GOSH Fund with Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSH Charity).
She explains why: “GOSH has changed our son's life not once but twice and we will be forever grateful for everything everyone has done for him and us as a whole family.
“We set up The George Broude Team GOSH Fund to give back to a hospital and charity that has given us so much as a family. GOSH has become like a second home and community to us."
Alexa adds that they wanted to fund something specific that would benefit everyone, "so we chose for our fundraising to go towards family and parent accommodation. We hadn’t previously realised that the accommodation is provided by the charity and without the charitable donations that accommodation wouldn't exist. This was such a vital resource to us and many others we know.
“As a team we have achieved a lot through a variety of ways such as an Afternoon Tea party, a film event, Christmas carolling and other friends and family raising funds through a variety of running races, including the London Marathon. The fundraising has brought people within our community together and all for a great cause."
Home from home
The biggest fundraising event so far was when George's mum, Alexa, ran 57 miles from the family home in Buckinghamshire to the entrance of GOSH to deliver a letter of thanks to everyone involved in George’s care.
Alexa finishing the Home from Home challenge, surrounded by supporters
“The Home from Home challenge was an amazing challenge which friends and family joined for part of the run and supported along the whole route. Members of GOSH Charity even ran for the last six miles. When we turned the corner towards the finish line, all I could see was a sea of purple GOSH t-shirts.
“It was a challenge that symbolised George’s heart journey so far in which people have supported us along a tough journey and GOSH were at the end to celebrate in the success of his care.
“As a family we believe that there is so much strength in kindness. GOSH, its staff and its dedicated supporters have shown us is that this is so true.
“GOSH is a truly incredible place that is filled with the spirit of childhood despite the illnesses and treatments the children are living with. The hospital has taught us the importance of charity and living life to the fullest.”
Team George after RBC Race for the Kids
Members of the George Broude Team GOSH Fund took on the Walkie Talkie Tower Climb on 29 February 2020. Well done, team!