Charity night to help fund

John Gwilliam joins Susan and Darren Vaines with their son Oliver. Oliver has a rare heart condition and the family are holding a fundraising charity dinner for the LGI's children's heart fund at the New Wheatsheaf on Altofts Lane in Castleford. (P523A331)
John Gwilliam joins Susan and Darren Vaines with their son Oliver. Oliver has a rare heart condition and the family are holding a fundraising charity dinner for the LGI's children's heart fund at the New Wheatsheaf on Altofts Lane in Castleford. (P523A331)

A family is organising a charity ball to raise cash for Leeds Children’s Heart Surgery Fund after their baby son had a life-saving operation.

Oliver Vaines underwent surgery at Leeds General Infirmary last October, aged just seven months, and now his parents Darren and Susan want to raise cash for the hospital’s charity CHSF.

They are holding the charity black tie ball at the New Wheatsheaf in Castleford on Saturday August 17.

Oliver, now 16 months, was born with Tetralogy of Fallot, a congenital defect, which causes four anatomical abnormalities of the heart.

Darren, 48, said: “The day of the operation was the worst thing we have ever gone through in our lives. When we were in hospital with him it just made us feel humble seeing the work the staff and surgeons do.

“They are just magnificent people.”

As well as the eight-hour operation last year, Oliver faces further surgery when he is about 12.

Darren, and Susan, 38, said it inspired them to start raising money for CHSF, as part of the bid to keep children’s heart surgery in Leeds.

Darren, who is from Featherstone, although the family now live in Snaith, has already taken part in a Three Peaks walk in January to raise £400, and they are hoping the ball will swell the figure.

He added: “Leeds covers a massive area and we need all these sites to stay open.

“It was a very difficult time for us and we wanted to give something back.”

The charity ball will be compered by Mick Morgan, ex-Wakefield Trinity, British Lions and Man of Steel, with after dinner speaker Roy Dickson, former Leeds and British Lion prop forward.

There will also be a three-course dinner, disco, raffle and charity aution. Tickets cost £25 and are available from the New Wheatsheaf on 01977 556871.