Our little boy Alex was diagnosed with a heart problem when I was just 20 weeks pregnant. He has coarctation of the aorta, a narrowing of the large artery which carries oxygenated blood around the body, and also AVSD which is a related heart defect.
Just a few days after he was born in 2014, Alex had life-saving surgery to repair his aorta. He had surgery again two years later to repair his AVSD. As well as problems with his heart, Alex has lung, airway and feeding problems and there is the potential he will require a third heart operation in future.
But right from the beginning (when we had the scan) ECHO have been there to support us, during our hospital stays and always at the end of a phone.
We wanted to give something back so we organised a 10 mile walk from Whitstable to Faversham, followed by an afternoon event at our local pub, The Ship, with a barbeque, raffle, auction and cake sale – all in aid of ECHO.
There were at least 50 walkers on the day, including Alex’s older brother, Jack (7), who walked the whole way, and his little sister Faith (4), who was there to meet us at the end. Incredibly, we only got home from Alex’s second surgery a day before the walk (which had been organised months in advance) but we all still managed it, including Alex who joined us for a few hours in the afternoon. He really is a very brave little boy and we’re incredibly proud.
In total, we raised nearly £6,000 for ECHO and can’t thank everyone enough for their support. We’re just looking forward to putting our walking shoes on again so that we can get out there and raise more money for ECHO!