Liverpool mum backs the
British Heart Foundation's Christmas appeal after son's fight for survival
A Sutton resident is calling on
everyone to support the British Heart Foundation's (BHF) Christmas Appeal after
her son stopped breathing 3 times in 2 years. Claire Cathcart, 37, is supporting
the BHF's Christmas campaign after her son Jake, 2, suffered 2 potentially
life threatening cardiac arrests and a respiratory arrest. The 1st cardiac
arrest was when he was 3 weeks old in Hospital, and he had a respiratory arrest
at home just 3 months ago. Jake has since been fitted with a pacemaker and had
major surgery to close a hole in his heart on his 1st birthday, but it is
likely that he will need a heart transplant in the future.
Each year, around 4,000 babies like Jake are diagnosed with a congenital heart
defect in the UK; that's 12 babies every day with many more diagnoses later in
life. The BHF aims to raise over half a million pounds this Christmas, to help
fund pioneering research into congenital heart disease, find new treatments and
keep more little hearts beating. Visit:-
to make a 1 off donation to the BHF this Christmas and make a difference today!
Mum Claire explains:- "Having to be ushered into a room after your tiny
baby's heart stops beating before your eyes is horrific. Even though he was
resuscitated and we were eventually able to go home, after being trained in CPR
by the nurses at Alder Hey Hospital, he gradually got more poorly. He was sick
all the time and we spent entire days at home caring for him around the clock.
This wasn't the start to motherhood I expected.
When we were told that Jake would be undergoing surgery, I felt relieved that
there would finally be an end to our nightmare. But it wasn't. After his
surgery, he had another cardiac arrest and we were told he needed to go back
into the operating theatre to close a hole in his heart. Part of me wanted to
wait, in case the worst happened, as it was Jake's 1st birthday.
Jake was doing so well after his second surgery, but we had a setback a couple
of months ago. It was distressing having to resuscitate a toddler so tiny but
there was no alternative; I had to get him breathing again or I would lose my
baby who had already fought so hard to be on this Earth. There's a chance
he may need a new heart in the future, but we don't let Jake's heart problems
define him; he's the happiest little boy you could ever meet and our hero."
Amanda Bringans, Director of Fundraising at the British Heart Foundation, said:-
"Sadly, many tiny hearts like Jake's will be struggling this Christmas.
That's why we urgently need everyone's support so that we can find new ways to
prevent and support families having to go through this heartache. With your
support, we can continue to fund the vital research needed to help keep these
tiny hearts beating."