Fundraiser of the Month: Danny Hirst

Danny was born with a hole in his heart.  This was monitored with no action needed until he was 11 when it was decided that the hole should be closed.

Danny had his first open heart surgery in 2015. Further investigations revealed his aortic valve wasn’t coping with the new pressures in his heart. The decision was made to replace the valve.

In 2016, just 15 months after his first operation, Danny had a mechanical valve fitted. It was during this time that Danny’s family became more aware of all of the work Children’s Heart Surgery Fund does.

Danny’s mum Gillian says

From seeing all of the stickers on much of the medical equipment in both PICU and on Ward L51 funded by CHSF, to the accommodation on site we were allowed to stay in. There’s also all of the support Children’s Heart Surgery Fund give to the heart warriors and their families. They become such a big part of all of our lives.

Due to his mechanical valve, Danny is on the blood thinning medicine Warfarin for life. This means regular blood tests and Warfarin clinics to ensure he takes the right dose.

CHSF have funded an INR testing machine for Danny. With the INR testing machine Danny can do his blood tests at home and he can ring the results in to the Children’s Warfarin Clinic.

Mum, Gillian continues:

I can’t imagine the disruption Danny would have to his school life if he had to visit a Warfarin Clinic for blood tests. There are occasions when he has needed to test his blood every day. Danny has just finished his GCSEs and without being able to test at home he would have had to miss some school which could have affected his results.

We asked Danny to tell us a bit more about his fundraising for CHSF…

I first started fundraising in 2015. I wrote a letter to my headteacher asking if my school could take part in Wear Red Day and from that I helped organise events at school the next year as well.

I’ve taken part in a number of Superhero Walks – dressed as a Surgeon! (Remember not all Superheroes wear capes!)

Last year I was supposed to take part in Kapow! (the 5km obstacle course) but unfortunately broke my arm just before. This didn’t stop me cheering the team on!

My ‘piece de resistance’ was doing the CHSF abseil down a 10 storey building this year. It was amazing!

I even persuaded my mum to jump out of a plane!! An experience that she says was ‘most exhilarating’!

We asked Danny if he had any advice for anyone thinking of fundraising for CHSF…

Do what you enjoy doing! Take the opportunity to tick something off your bucket list.  Whether that’s doing that half marathon you’ve always promised yourself you’ll do one day or jumping out of a plane.

If they all sound too energetic then the Superhero Walk is great. A fantastic opportunity to meet families all going through the same as you or there supporting their family and friends.

CHSF is great team to be part of! We are so grateful for the support they have given over the years and we will continue to do what we can to help raise funds to try and give something back.

Feeling inspired by Danny’s story? Want to take on a challenge? Whether you go it alone or get a team together, find out more about CHSF events and how you can get involved today!