Fundraising fight to save heart unit

Anne-Marie Sheard fears the children's heart unit in Leeds where her four-year-old son Isaac is treated may close.
Anne-Marie Sheard fears the children's heart unit in Leeds where her four-year-old son Isaac is treated may close.
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A CAMPAIGN group hoping to save a children’s heart unit from closure is asking Five Towns’ residents to raise much needed funds to help them carry on the fight.

The Children’s Heart Surgery Fund (CHSF) – which has fought to keep the heart unit at Leeds General Infirmary open in the wake of government cutbacks – has launched a new campaign called Fundraising Friday.

Individuals and businesses are being urged to organise their own events across Yorkshire on Friday August 31.

The cash raised will fund a potential judicial review to fight the decision made by national body Joint Committee for Primary Care Trusts on July 4 to close the unit, in favour of having fewer, larger sites across the country.

Ackworth mum Anne-Marie Sheard, 41, whose five-year-old son Issac has atrioventricular septal defect and will need open heart surgery, said she was planning an event in the village to keep the public aware.

Mrs Sheard of Moor Top, said: “It is really important to keep people aware of what is going on with our campaign. Families who are involved with the heart unit will know but we have to make sure the public sees what the CHSF is doing to keep the heart unit open.

“This is a great way to show everyone and it is so important that we continue to keep 
fighting.”

The Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Panel, the group representing councils from across the region, has stated its intent to refer the closure decision to the health secretary after an inquiry was held, led by Sir Neil McKay.

To organise an event email CHSF at ch.sf@leedsth.nhs.uk CHSF or call 0113 392 5742 to find out how to register, and visit www.chsf.org.uk for fundraising ideas.