Don’t just take our word for it that Children’s Heart Surgery Fund is a great charity – here’s what our supporters think about the following.
Children's Heart Surgery Fund's online community:
“The Facebook group helped me get through the toughest time of my life. Amazing people who care – thank you.” Rachel Hickson
“I think that CHSF is a wonderful charity – and I only wish I had discovered their Facebook group before Lilly had had her surgery.” Sarah
Parent accommodation supported by Children's Heart Surgery Fund:
“We stayed in Eckersley House and, if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have been together as a family” Rachel Hickson
“The work of the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund has touched so many lives in our region, so it was an honour to be able to raise money for such a deserving cause. CHSF helps give every child that goes through the Yorkshire Heart Centre at Leeds General Infirmary a chance at achieving a childhood and reaching well into adulthood. They provide cutting edge equipment that the NHS simply can’t afford and they help make the environment in which the children are treated as welcoming, fun and exciting as possible.” Julian Brown (parent)
“We stayed in Eckersley House over Christmas in 2009 while Laiela had her first open heart surgery, and recently when she had her second. Jane and her team are amazing.” Kelly Nalton
“We stayed in Eckersley House while our daughter Olivia had her third open heart surgery. We were so grateful to be staying there as it made life a little bit easier to know we were close to our daughter at such a worrying and stressful time.” April Spink
“We staying in Eckersley House while Caleb underwent and recovered from open heart surgery – it was a godsend! Initially we were taking turns sleeping at the side of his bed and in the car. When we got the room in the house, my partner could bring over our three-year-old son to see me – a highly emotional time as I’d not seen him for nearly two weeks. It was so lovely, a beautiful lounge and playroom, with amazing facilities. He stayed with me in the clean, comfortable room – knowing we were within a stone’s throw of ICU. It truly was a godsend to us, and we are thankful of that.” Bj Johnson
“We stayed at Eckersley House – it was absolutely vital while Ethan was ill. It gave us somewhere to crash when Ethan went in for his unplanned second surgery – the day after the first planned surgery. The best phone call of all time came when we were told he was out again and could go and see him.” Marc Blackburn
“We stayed in the CHSF rooms in the Brotherton Wing while our daughter underwent surgery. We found the room to be clean and comfortable, and it meant a lot that we could stay together.” Sarah Elford
“My daughter and I stayed in Eckersley House while my granddaughter Libby-mae had her heart surgery. We felt we had tremendous support from the nurses and doctors – we were told of her progress at each and every stage of her care. We had some ups and downs emotionally, and felt the staff at Eckersley House were also there for us. We couldn’t have got through those eight days without you all – thank you from the bottom of our hearts.” Paula Rose (grandmother of a heart patient)
Elford Facilities/equipment provided by Children's Heart Surgery Fund:
“Laiela enjoyed the keyboard and headphones in the playroom – it’s something we are getting her for Christmas, she loved them that much!” Kelly Nalton
“The 3D distraction television is amazing – Lilly loved looking at it during scans and it helped to keep her calm.” Sarah Elford
“It was great to see all the resources people’s fundraising efforts had provided throughout the hospital – from the fish tank and toys on the ward, to the parents’ accommodation, and the specialist equipment on the intensive care unit.” Rachel Foulkes
“Olivia’s on warfarin and the CHSF provided us with a coagulation machine which has made life so much easier because we are able to do the test at home. We are extremely grateful to all the team.” April Spink
Our supporter magazine, BraveHearts:
“BraveHearts magazine is great. It’s lovely to read other hear warrior’s stories – truly inspirational!” Alexandra McGrory
“I was a proud mummy the day I saw my little man alongside all the other amazing children in BraveHearts magazine!” Carol Johns
“Our little man Oliver made the front cover of the BraveHearts magazine! Thanks so much to everyone who made it happen – he’s been such an inspiration to us, we’re so proud of him.” Darren Vaines
“I got the latest BraveHearts magazine today – a brilliant read. Thanks for taking the time to do these magazines and keep us updated – it’s much appreciated and keep up the good work.” Lesley Smith
“When I receive BraveHearts magazine it brightens my day! Thank you to all contributors and the hard-working, committed team behind the scenes providing the news, updates and, of course, those who share inspirational stories of their brave ones.” Caroline Kennedy
“BraveHearts is lovely, heartfelt reading – it’s truly amazing and I read it word-for-word, beginning-to-end.” Patricia Blackburn
“It can feel very isolating when you’re the only heart mum and dad in your circle – BraveHearts gives you a warm feeling that other people are there too and you are part of a wider heart family.” Jessica Jenkins
Generally on Children's Heart Surgery Fund:
“Since finding out about our daughter’s condition we have taken part in Wear Red Day; have a collection box for our loose change; put old clothes in a Clothes for Charity bag; and have signed up to Give as you Live for our online shopping to help raise money for this excellent cause that helps our daughter and all the other little brave hearts.” Rachel Foulkes
“CHSF has helped me meet other heart parents who I probably wouldn’t have gotten to know.” Joanne Branagan
And, finally, a testimonial that covers everything:
“We staying in the parents’ accommodation when we’d just been given Harry’s diagnosis. It was the most terrifying feeling, knowing he would need open heart surgery, and having to literally put his life into someone else’s hands. I began noticing things that were funded by the charity, and became so grateful for the support that, simply providing what seems like the little things, provides for parents. It is a weight off your shoulders.
“There was a folder with information in, and part of that included information on how the charity had helped others, in amazing ways, and beyond any expectations, such as funding specialist surgeons to travel from abroad, in an exceptional case which required very specialist surgery. This gave me hope, that anything is possible. I then believed that if my son needed something, that perhaps the NHS Trust couldn’t provide, I knew there was a charity we could approach, who would do everything within their powers to help. Just knowing there was a charity there who would support people on an individual basis, brought so much comfort.
“Your aim to provide each child a childhood, made me believe someone else cared about my son too.
“We enjoy receiving your BraveHearts magazine, which often shows how you have funded new equipment – whether it be medical, to help with diagnosis, or toys for the playroom etc… – which I think is vital for the unit to keep on providing such a high standard of service.
“I think you are an amazing charity. Simply providing each child with a medal, certificate and bear is a lovely personal touch. I know it’s supposed to be for the children but, for the parents, it’s nice to know that someone else recognises what your child has achieved.”