Children’s Hospital Heart Appeal reaches £2m fundraising target

Birmingham Children’s Hospital is delighted to announce that, thanks to the amazing support of our fundraisers, we have now reached the £2million target for our Children’s Heart Appeal!

It has taken just under two years to raise the money needed to build a state-of-the-art hybrid theatre that can combine open heart and keyhole surgery on the same patient at the same time, boosting their chances of survival. Without the help of our supporters, the dream of such a world class facility here at Birmingham Children’s Hospital wouldn’t have become a reality. It makes Birmingham the only children’s hospital in Britain with its own hybrid theatre.

The new theatre is now in use and has treated 126 patients so far, many with hugely complex heart problems. It will treat an extra 300 patients a year, with plans for more in the future.

The fundraising has helped to build the hybrid theatre, a new catheterisation laboratory (where keyhole cardiac surgery can be carried out) and will increase the number of intensive care beds from 20 to 31. The hospital itself invested some of its own funds in the groundbreaking project and its big-hearted supporters raised the final £2 million in a variety of imaginative ways, from sponsored abseils and a freezing Snowdon swim to major corporate donations and half marathons.

Louise McCathie, Head of Fundraising at Birmingham Children’s Hospital says:

“We are so grateful to all of our supporters who have helped us reach this amazing fundraising total. We have enjoyed hearing about all the challenging, fun and unusual ways that our supporters have found to raise the money. This is the quickest this sum of money has been raised for Birmingham Children’s Hospital and this is entirely down to you all and your generosity.”

David Barron, Consultant Cardiac Surgeon commented:

“Thanks to you we can now perform an extra 300 operations on children and babies every year. Not only that but we can now combine operations with X-ray guidance systems that are the first purpose built facilities of their kind in a children’s hospital. This has put Birmingham Children’s Hospital Cardiac Unit at the forefront of technical advance and we are enormously grateful to all who have helped – and proud that you have all stepped up to help with such generosity and speed to reach the target in record time.”

Fiona Reynolds, Consultant Intensivist and Deputy Chief Medical Officer, comments:

“We’d like to say a big thank you to all of our supporters. Your amazing efforts have made a huge difference to some of the sickest children and young people in the UK. We are so grateful for all that you have done for the Children’s Heart Appeal.”

Thanks from the bottom of our hearts

Little Rudy Maxwell-Jones featured on billboards and posters all over Birmingham last summer, when his parents offered their full backing to the Children’s Heart Appeal. Rudy was just 36 hours old when surgeons at Birmingham Children’s Hospital operated on his aortic valve, which was no wider than a pinhole.

Now a bouncy seven month old, you wouldn’t guess by looking at Rudy that he was the tiny baby pictures with wires and tubes protruding from him, urging people to ‘Please Don’t Stop’ giving to the Children’s Heart Appeal. Rudy Maxwell-Jones at home

Rudy was born with Critical Aortic Stenosis, a life-threatening narrowing of the aortic heart valve. This left his heart dangerously swollen because the blood was not being pumped out of it properly.

After 11 weeks in hospital, Rudy returned home to Sutton Coldfield with his parents, Jeanette Shiel and Rupert Maxwell-Jones last summer and has since gone from strength to strength.

Mum Jeanette says:

“We still can’t get over how amazing it is having him home with us. He is the happiest and most chilled-out baby ever. He’s always smiling and has just started to find his voice so he talks and shouts at us all now. He eats and sleeps really well. We just feel so lucky to have him with us and we can’t thank the staff at Birmingham Children’s Hospital enough for saving his life.

We are over the moon to find out that the Children’s Heart Appeal has now reached its £2m fundraising target! We’d both like to say a huge thanks from us and Rudy to all of the fundraisers who helped to raise this. Without this support, we doubt our little boy would be here with us today, so it means the world to us.”

And Rudy has already benefitted from the new catheterisation laboratory as he returned to the hospital last week for surgery. Rudy’s heart is now functioning at 100% compared to just 20% last July. Due to his improved heart function, his narrowed valve is struggling to keep up with his heart function, so Rudy underwent a catheterisation procedure to widen his valve in the new cath lab. Rudy is recovering well from his operation and only needed to spend two days in hospital.

Dad Rupert says:

“Rudy is doing better than ever hoped he would but we know he might need more surgery and a valve replacement in the future. However, we know he is in the best place with world class facilities like the new hybrid theatre and the amazing cardiac team at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.”

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