Kids’ red alert in aid of children’s heart surgery

Carr Green Primary School, Rastrick wear red day in support of heart unit at Leeds. Naill Rhodes eight, Libby Carstairs nine, Harvey Turner ten and Ruby Smith seven.
Carr Green Primary School, Rastrick wear red day in support of heart unit at Leeds. Naill Rhodes eight, Libby Carstairs nine, Harvey Turner ten and Ruby Smith seven.

PUPILS dressed in red to raise cash for children’s heart surgery.

Staff and pupils at Carr Green Primary School, Rastrick, have a personal interest in helping to not only save the children’s heart unit at Leeds General Infirmary but to support the Children’s Heart Surgery Trust Fund.

Libby Carstairs one of the pupils has been battling a serious heart condition since she was born. The heart defect cannot be corrected and Libby has had to undergo a series of major operations.

Nearly two months ago nine-year-old Libby was admitted to hospital during a routine check up for heart surgery.

Her mum Claire said: “She was only in hospital eight days after the surgery and returned back to school after six weeks. She is doing loads better and is now able to stand up and walk around. She used to use a wheelchair because she didn’t have a lot of energy.

“She still needs further surgery. I don’t think we will be at a place where she will never need surgery. We are looking at a maximum of two years until she needs another operation.”

Libby is just one of many that will be affected by the possible closure of the unit at Leeds. “For us we have had the same surgeon since Libby was born. It is not just the upheaval of being further away from home and family but to know the surgeon who we have built up a good relation with and Libby has too. All the staff on the ward they all know her because there are quite a lot them there from when she was born.

“We definitely don’t want it to shut. As far as we are concerned it is safe and sustainable and the centre of excellence for us.”

Head teacher Lesley Bowyer said they wanted to support cardiac surgery and the fighting fund to keep the children’s heart unit at Leeds. “We have had a lot of support with notes from parents saying it is worthy cause and wanting to support it,” she said.

“The Save Our Surgery want to keep the unit in Leeds and for Libby and her family they have needed to use the cardiac unit a lot and the extra trauma it would have caused for the family if it wasn’t in Leeds. We are aware of that and the same for all the other families involved.”

The school has been providing home tutoring for Libby while she has been recovering.