Andrea and Richard were not able to see their daughter Olivia, and her twin sister Elizabeth was unable to meet her, until two days after their birth, due to Olivia's severe heart problems. Olivia underwent open heart surgery ten days later at Bristol Children's Hospital to enable blood to flow between her lungs and heart.
Olivia will need further specialist treatment from the cardiac team over the coming years, with the family making regular visits to Bristol Children’s Hospital from their home in Launceston, Cornwall.
Bristol Children’s Hospital is a national centre for paediatric cardiac care, with more than 12,000 children from all over Bristol, the south west of England and south Wales coming to the hospital for specialist treatment. The Grand Appeal helps the hospital to stay at the very forefront of medical excellence, helping to fund the very best and latest equipment available to diagnose these life-threatening conditions.
Olivia’s mum Andrea says: “Looking back at Olivia’s journey, I can’t express how astonished I am to see her go from someone who struggled to make it up the stairs or run around with her friends to walking through the school gates with her sister. All she wanted for so long was to do star jumps just like her sister, and now she can.
“Having spent most of her life under the care of staff at Bristol Children’s Hospital, I cannot express how truly grateful we are to everyone there. They did more than just care for her; they supported our whole family and gave us everything we needed. We will continue to support The Grand Appeal, and do whatever we can to help the hospital continue to improve the lives of sick children like our daughter.”