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Children’s Cardiac Care in Northern Ireland

Whilst HOPE03 are involved with international projects they are also involved with some local projects. The most recent one was raising funds for the ‘Children’s Heartbeat Trust’ who provide financial support to those families who face considerable financial hardship as a result of having to travel to either England or Dublin for children’s heart operations. Over £2,000 was raised by HOPE03 member Conor Fitzpatrick by organising various teams to raise funds through sponsorship in this years Belfast Marathon.

Pictured with the cheque are Billy Kelly (HOPE03), Dr. Frank Casey, Children’s Hearbeat Trust, Peter O’Hara, (Chairman, HOPE03) and Conor Fitzpatrick (HOPE03).

A strategic review of service provision has recommended that children’s heart operations will no longer be conducted in centres that have less than 400 operations per year. For centres such as the RVH, with 120 operations per year, it means a transfer of capability to the Crumlin hospital in Dublin.

Families find themselves in situations when their child faces heart surgery. Aside from trauma of major surgery on their child, they will also face the cost of staying in Dublin for a period of up to six weeks. This places a heavy financial burden on many at a time of high stress.

While there is currently a parent support group (Heartbeat) providing some financial support, there is still an urgent funding requirement on an ongoing basis. HOPE03 are aiming to assist in this good cause. HOPE03 plan on providing a funding pool for those families facing financial hardship. There was a consensus within the committee to support this as our main charity for 2013.

For more information on this, please visit their website: www.childrensheartbeattrust.org

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