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Recognising young heart heroes

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Imagine being just weeks and old and having to undergo open-heart surgery. It’s hard to believe, isn’t it?

But this is the reality for some patients at Bristol Children’s Hospital. Others may be older but still face the same terrifying ordeal.

Since 2017 we have funded a very special project to recognise the bravery of these patients, inspired by two parents who know all too well what it’s like to have a child with complex heart problems.

After every patient’s first heart surgery, they are given a gift and certificate to celebrate this milestone in their hospital journey. And what was once a bear is set to become…you guessed it…a Gromit! So, from now on, each patient will become the owner of their very own cardiac canine to cherish forever.

Cardiac Gromit

It was watching her six-year-old daughter Ella recover from her second heart surgery that inspired Chantelle to recognise her little girl’s strength.


Nicola, a fellow parent, and I had a chat after seeing our children showered with gifts from family and friends. We thought ‘why couldn’t they receive something from the hospital – the very people that saved their lives?

Chantelle, Ella’s mum

Ella was given her very own bear and a certificate in the summer of 2018. It’s thanks to Chantelle and Nicola that more children like Ella will not only have a Gromit to comfort them but a reminder of what makes them such a heart hero.

I am so excited about the new cardiac Gromits. They will really represent Bristol Children’s Hospital and The Grand Appeal. Who wouldn’t love their very own Gromit?

Chantelle, Ella’s mum

Wallace & Gromit's Wrong Trousers Day is back on Friday 21 June.