A NEWTOWN MUM is calling on everyone to support the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) Christmas Appeal after her son was born with a life-threatening heart condition.
Kymm Galvin, is supporting the BHF’s Christmas campaign after her son Sam Galvin, who will turn 13 in December, was born with Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS).
This means the left side of his heart did not form correctly during pregnancy and his heart is unable to pump blood around the body effectively.
When Kymm was pregnant for Sam, she went to the 20-week scan, where her baby was diagnosed with HLHS.
At just three-days old, Sam underwent his first surgery as part of the Norwood Procedure, which is a three stage surgical procedure, designed to create normal blood flow in and out of the heart, allowing the body to receive the oxygenated blood it needs.
Each year, around 4,000 babies like Sam are diagnosed with a congenital heart defect in the UK – that’s 12 babies every day.
The BHF aims to raise over half a million pounds this Christmas, to help fund pioneering research into congenital heart disease and find new treatments.
Kymm explained: “We were in complete shock when we discovered Sam had HSHL.
“I felt bombarded with information and we had difficult decisions about surgery to make, but we wanted to give him every chance.
“It had an enormous impact on our family, especially as it happened so close to Christmas.
“We spent his first Christmas at Guys Hospital in London because Sam was in recovery after ten hours of surgery.
“Since then, Sam has had further surgery, aged five months and again at two and a half years.
Sam was fed for five years by a tube into his stomach and has received numerous MRI scans and Transoesophageal Echocardiagrams (TOE) which involves inserting a camera down the throat in order to receive clear and accurate pictures of the heart.
Kymm added:“Having a child with a chronic illness impacts your life in so many ways, which is why I’m supporting the BHF in raising awareness of congenital heart disease.
“Sam lives his life to the full thanks to the life saving research funded by the BHF and these breakthroughs could help even more children like Sam, who are born with a heart condition.”
Adam Fletcher, Head of British Heart Foundation Wales, said: “Sadly, many tiny hearts like Sam’s will be struggling this Christmas.
That’s why we urgently need everyone’s support so that we can find new ways to prevent and support families having to go through this heartache
With your support, we can continue to fund the vital research needed to help keep these tiny hearts beating.”
Visit christmas.bhf.org.uk to make a one-off donation to the BHF this Christmas.
See full story in the County Times