Clare and Damien cycle for Phoenix

‘Bristol Children’s Hospital saved Phoenix’s life and for that, I will be forever in their debt. The Land’s End to Bristol ride will be an exceptional challenge for Damien and I, but one that I am so proud to do for the wonderful staff here who have kept us positive even on our darkest of days. We just can’t thank them enough but we CAN get on our bikes and raise money to help other children like Phoenix’

Clare and Damien’s son Phoenix was born with a condition called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, a congenital heart disease affecting 1 in 5000 babies each year.

At just four days old Phoenix underwent open heart surgery; the first of three planned surgeries. Whilst the surgery went as planned, Phoenix suffered a sudden heart attack the following morning and was put onto a life support machine for two days to let his heart recover. This would prove to be the beginning of a long battle for Phoenix as just two weeks later Phoenix also suffered a significant stroke to the left side of his brain. As his brain was still growing, consultants were unable to confirm what the long-term impact of this would be.

Over the next four weeks, Phoenix continued treatment on the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, before being transferred to Cardiac for two weeks. After which, Clare and Damien were overjoyed to be able to take their little boy home.  

Unfortunately however, this was not the end for Phoenix’s treatment, and just five weeks later, doctors discovered a narrowing of his Aorta which required surgery to correct. After 2 cardiac catheter procedures, Phoenix underwent his second open heart surgery in December last year. During the days following theatre, doctors discovered that the artery leading to his left lung was so narrow that he wasn't getting enough oxygen resulting in a third open heart surgery to put a shunt in to increase the blood flow.

As a token of their appreciation for the compassion, care and treatment Phoenix has received at Bristol Children’s Hospital, Clare and Damien are taking on our Land’s End to Bristol Cycle Ride this September. Support their cycle at

There are still a few places remaining for Land’s End to Bristol, so if you would like to join #TeamGrandAppeal , simply contact Molly on or 0117 927 3888.