Tamsin Carelse, from Upfield, in Addiscombe, completed her first London Marathon in 2011. On April 7 this year, she is hoping to complete her second 26-mile race in Paris. Tamsin fits her training around a busy working life. Nothing stops her, not even recent snow and nasty and painful running injuries.
That’s because she is fiercely motivated by a charity close to her heart called Little Hearts Matter, an organisation that has provided much-needed support to her cousin, Vicki, and her family.
This is Vicki’s story: “Imagine being told your unborn baby boy has a half-working heart. That is what we were told at our routine 20-week antenatal scan. It was confirmed by the cardiologists from Birmingham Children’s Hospital and we were given our options.
“At this heart-breaking time we decided to give our little boy a chance and continued with the pregnancy. We then were made aware of the organisation, Little Hearts Matter, who gave us a very informative booklet written by LHM explaining in great detail the diagnosis we had been given for our son, Ellis; the surgeries he faced, and what living with half a heart means. It became like a Bible for us and we were able to share it with family and friends, making it easier for them to understand more about the condition, and how it could affect his life.
“Ellis is now two years old and has already had four life-saving open heart surgeries: nine procedures in total, and LHM has been there for us from day one. His is an incurable condition but the surgeries allow him to live. He will require further surgeries in the future and we know we can rely on LHM to provide us with support.”
Little Hearts Matter provides invaluable support and information for families where a single ventricle heart condition has been diagnosed.
Around 600 babies are diagnosed as having half a working heart each year. Recent developments in life-saving surgery mean that many of them now survive, although their hearts will never be normal. For many of them, transplant will be needed before they reach adult life.
The charity hold various events throughout the year, including an annual open day where all the children and their families can get together. The event allows the children to participate in activities with other children like them, who have reduced energy and stamina. It is a wonderful day, providing hope to all when they see the older children.
Tamsin Carelse wants to raise £2,000 for LHM by running in next weekend’s Paris Marathon. She needs your help to smash this target.
- You can donate via http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/TamsinCarelse
LHM’s work for children without fully functioning hearts relies on donations from people with big hearts.
- For further information, visit www.lhm.org.uk
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