A family has completed three fundraising challenges to give back to the hospital that saved their son’s life.
George Warner-Bryce, now age seven, defied the odds after being born in 2014 at St Thomas’ Hospital with six congenital heart defects – three of which had previously been diagnosed on mum Hannah’s 20-week scan.
One of them was a hole in his heart.
After being transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Evelina London Children’s Hospital, George underwent his first heart operation when he was just six days old, and as a result lost three pounds in weight.
Hannah Warner-Bryce said: “George recovered really well after his first operation and we were able to go home after 10 days of being in hospital.
“We then had to go back to Evelina London when he was 16 weeks old for his second procedure.
“Unfortunately George didn’t respond as well to his second operation, and it was a bit touch and go as they had to resuscitate him three times. Luckily this didn’t have any lasting impact on his development.”
After George had his most recent operation when he was four years old, his family decided to undertake a trio of fundraising challenges to raise money for the cardiology department at Evelina London.
First to complete a challenge was 33-year-old Hannah. Despite being scared of heights, the teaching assistant managed to climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower.
Second was George’s older brother Alfie, 13, who completed a sponsored virtual 350km cycle ride during lockdown.
To finish off the trio of activities, this autumn dad Richard, 37, abseiled 160 feet down the side of St Thomas’ Hospital. This mammoth effort raised over £2,700 in total.
Hannah, from Sevenoaks, said: “We decided to take on three fundraising activities to give back to the hospital that has given us so much. We want to help other children like George to get the very best care.
“Evelina London is a special type of hospital, they feel like family. The staff took the time to get to know us when I was first seen in the fetal cardiology department, and continued being so supportive with all of George’s treatment.”
George’s diagnosis included
- hypoplastic right heart, where the right side of the heart is underdeveloped
- coarctation of the aorta, where the aorta has narrowing
- transposition of the great arteries – meaning his main arteries were the wrong way around and
- a ventricular septal defect, otherwise known as a hole in the heart.
Dr Owen Miller, consultant in paediatric and fetal cardiology at Evelina London, said: “George is a wonderful little man and his family work together with the whole Evelina London team to deliver the holistic care needed for a growing child.
We are so grateful that families go above and beyond to support us.”