Isabella, 18, from Harrogate, North Yorkshire was born with numerous congenital heart conditions and has undergone two highly complex surgeries, the first one when she was just 5 years old.
She and her family are prolific fundraisers, organising multiple events over the past few years including an annual Halloween Ball.
In total, the family has raised £150,000.00 for the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund, the majority of which has been spent on specialist equipment. In a twist of fate, during Isabella’s last operation, she was treated with a piece of equipment which her fundraising had paid for.
Isabella Cook’s picture was on display as part of the Keeping the Beat launch event at the Leeds Club on 19th May.
Isabella was born with multiple heart conditions including transposition of the great ventricles, double outlet right ventricle, interrupted aortic arch and the extremely rare Dextrocardia, a condition which caused her heart to develop on the wrong side of her body.
She underwent her first Fontan surgery when she was five years old and had her final Fontan Procedure aged 15 years old.
After the very complex second operation she went into renal failure and her family were unsure of whether or not she would recover. Isabella’s mum says:
I think the only reason Isabella pulled through that experience was because both the cardiac and renal teams were the same building, only a floor apart in the LGI and because of the healthcare professionals working so effectively.
Isabella has now recovered and is being closely monitored by the hospital as an outpatient. Isabella’s mum continues:
We are so proud of Isabella; she’s a fighter and such an inspiration to her two sisters and all of the children fighting congenital heart disease. We’re really pleased to be able to tell her story and also to support the great work that the charity does.
I was really to be involved in the Keeping the Beat Gallery event and to help launch the campaign, as the fund has affected me directly. I want to do what I can to help support Children’s Heart Surgery Fund and the work they do – I’m not sure where I would be today if it weren’t for the great work they do.