The family of a four-year-old girl who has bounced back after undergoing open-heart surgery are raising money for the hospital support network that cared for her.
Little Olivia Furmston from Northchurch was born without a wall between the bottom two chambers, plus several holes in her heart.
She was diagnosed with a heart murmur at just six weeks old and had her first operation at eight weeks, which involved fitting a band around the pulmonary artery to manage the flow of blood.
The St Thomas More Nursery pupil endured her latest operation lasting seven hoursat London’s Royal Brompton Hospital in April, and has since made fantastic progress.
Olivia’s mum Suzanne said: “We feel like we’ve had a miracle. She’s like a new little girl. She’s pink, she’s no longer out of breath. The hospital was amazed by her recovery.
“The raffle is my family’s way of saying thank you. The support we received was fantastic, it felt like somebody had put their arms round us.
The Brompton Fountain offers help and support to families of children undergoing treatment at the Royal Brompton Hospital.
The organisation ensures the families have all the information they need in the run up to surgery, and supports them during the process.
Suzanne said: “Olivia had to have numerous tests and it was a very anxious time for us.
“They talked through the whole process with Olivia’s big sister Daisy as there was a lot of anxiety at home, but they were fantastic with her.”
Suzanne and husband Neill are organising Olivia’s Raffle in a bid to raise more than £1,000 for the specialist cardiac hospital.
There are 47 prizes up for grabs, including an Xbox 360 console, a Kindle Fire tablet and an annual family pass to Willows Farm.
Suzanne, 42, said: “The support we’ve had from the local community is amazing.”
Olivia’s big sister Daisy, eight, and her friend Rudhi are helping to spread the word about the raffle, and Suzanne says both St Thomas More and Greenway School have been very supportive.
Raffle tickets are 50p each or £2.50 for a book. If you are interested in buying some, email Suzanne via email@example.com. She is happy to deliver tickets locally.
Tickets need to be returned to Suzanne by Sunday, before the draw takes place at St Thomas More Primary School on Monday at 3.30pm.
Olivia’s progress will continue to be monitored as an outpatient, but for now she is looking forward to going back to her beloved ballet and tap dancing classes in September.
Suzanne said: “She was always a bit blue and wanted to be in the quiet corner, and she struggled with ballet before so she’s keen to go back.”
For more information, visit www.thebromptonfountain.org.uk.