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Sophie Dubbin


1 May 2019, 12:03 p.m.

Sophie was just 18 months old when she underwent open heart surgery at Bristol Children’s Hospital. She suffers from a condition called Tetralogy of Fallot.

Tetralogy of Fallot is made up of a combination of four genetic issues that affect the heart. Not only was Sophie’s heart struggling to pump blood properly but it had a hole in its wall, meaning blood could leak from one side to the other. With her heart not working properly Sophie’s right ventricle had also become enlarged.

From prolonged crying to fainting and swollen fingers and toes as well as shortness of the breath, Tetralogy of Fallot can cause a variety of symptoms. For little Sophie, it meant struggling with extreme tiredness and unable to enjoy childhood activities as well as having to endure multiple surgeries.

Sophie Dubbin in surgery

Brave Sophie has had multiple operations

In August 2018, things took a turn for the worse and she was rushed in for emergency heart surgery. Whilst surgeons repaired Sophie’s heart, mum Jackie and dad Mark had nowhere to go. New to Bristol and far from home, they found refuge at Paul’s House. Whilst they waited to hear whether their baby daughter was going to be ok, our home-from-home provided this frightened family with a comforting, free place to stay and a much-needed opportunity to sleep and freshen up. After an agonising wait, Jackie and Mark were given the news they had been waiting for; that Sophie would soon be back in their arms as a happy and healthy little girl.

“When the surgeon came to tell us at 4am that Sophie was going to be okay it was the best feeling in the world.””



Fast forward to 2019 and Sophie has made incredible progress. She may face a future of routine checks but if her brave hospital journey is anything to go by, we know this amazing little girl has some fighting spirit in her!

Dubbin Family

Sophie with her mum Jackie and dad Mark

Meanwhile, Jackie and Mark will not only be forever grateful to the incredible team at Bristol Children’s Hospital that gave their little girl a new lease of life but to The Grand Appeal and its family of fundraisers for being there for them, just when they needed it most.