Harriet, 3, from Bristol, has been cared for at Bristol Children’s Hospital for her entire life. She was diagnosed with a congenital heart problem shortly after she was born, and in December 2015 underwent open heart surgery to repair a faulty valve.
Harriet’s mum Debbie said, “I had a normal pregnancy with Harriet. It wasn’t until she was born and we were about to be discharged that the midwives picked up a heart murmur. She was immediately booked to have a heart echo, and the next day we found ourselves in an ambulance, blue lights flashing, rushing to Bristol Children’s Hospital.
“Doctors diagnosed a faulty valve in Harriet’s heart but were very reassuring and positive about the life she had ahead of her. However, as her third birthday approached a routine check-up showed she had developed a rare complication, and needed an operation.
“Harriet went into surgery on 16 December. I can’t express how terrifying it was to have to let go and leave my baby girl in the hands of a surgeon. Those five hours felt like forever, each minute slowly dragging past.
“Finally the waiting was over and we were back by Harriet’s bedside. As she came around from the anaesthetic, she reached out to me and I fainted, right in middle of the intensive care unit! I was completely overwhelmed by all the stresses and emotions of the day.
“Thankfully Harriet made a speedy recovery and five days later she was able to come home, just in time for Christmas. Her big brother Sam, 6, did a great job of keeping watch over her while she recovered.
“Harriet has never let her condition stop her from keeping up with other kids, and while she still has regular check-ups, her heart is going strong. The care she received has been amazing throughout and we will be forever grateful to everyone at Bristol Children’s Hospital who looked after us.”
Harriet, Sam, Debbie and dad James were invited to take part in a special baking masterclass at Bordeaux Quay’s cookery school, to launch Wallace & Gromit’s BIG Bake.
Debbie continued, “When The Grand Appeal asked us to be a part of the BIG Bake we jumped at the chance! It was brilliant fun to bake the recipes together as a family and we hope it inspires other families to give it a go and support Bristol Children’s Hospital.”
By throwing a brilliant BIG Bake for your friends and family, you’ll be helping families at Bristol Children’s Hospital, like Harriet, Sam, Debbie and James.