Pupils wear red for life-saving heart unit

Daniel Hirst, 12, and his classmates.
Daniel Hirst, 12, and his classmates.

Youngsters came to school dressed in red to raise money for a children’s heart unit, which saved the life of one of their classmates.

Daniel Hirst, from Normanton, was born with hole in his heart and has been cared for by the unit at Leeds General Infirmary for most of his life.

Daniel Hirst, 12, and his classmates.

Daniel Hirst, 12, and his classmates.

He had an operation to close the hole in his heart last year, a procedure which saved his life.

Daniel, a pupil at Freeston Academy, asked the academy’s senior leadership team to help raise money for the children’s heart surgery fund – a charity which supports the unit at LGI.

Children at the school donated £1 each and dressed in red for the charity’s annual wear red day last Friday.

Daniel’s mum Gillian Hirst said: “We are very proud of him. It was his idea that the academy supports wear red day.

Daniel Hirst.

Daniel Hirst.

“He has been a patient at LGI since he was a tiny baby. He had annual check-ups but it was in October in 2014 that they said it was time to operate. They did it last January.”

The pupils also held a bake sale during the day to help raise money for the charity.

Doctors have told Daniel, 12, he will need another operation to repair a leaking heart valve.

Freeston Academy’s acting principal Mike Tarr said: “The whole academy got behind the fundraising. Daniel is a super student.

“He is very brave and a real inspiration to all those around him. Our decision to support wear red day was prompted by his letter as the charity is very close to our hearts.”

The charity funds equipment, staff, resources and training for those who work on the heart wards.

It also supports patients with congenital heart disease and their families.

For more information, log onto www.chsf.org.uk