Albie Carroll, one, from Bingley, West Yorkshire was born with four holes in the heart, coarctation of the aorta and slight hypoplastic left heart. He was diagnosed with congenital heart disease when he was eight weeks old.

At eight weeks old, Albie was rushed to the Leeds General Infirmary and underwent 12 hours of major surgery.

During recovery, the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund organised for the family to speak to a psychologist who specialised in helping parents going through difficult times, which they cite as a huge help to them during the experience. Christian Carroll, Albie’s Dad says:

Albie is a miracle. We owe so much to the team at the LGI, they have given us the chance to watch our son grow up. Words cannot describe what we have been through and how much the support the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund has given us.

During their time in hospital, the Carroll family decided they wanted to give something back and vowed to raise as much money as possible for the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund.

They’ve organised numerous fund raisers, taking part in physical challenges, such as the Leeds 10K and the London Triathlon and hosting the ‘The Love Heart’ charity ball in February 2016. Christian continues:

We received some incredible donations for the charity ball auction prizes and were thrilled to raise over £31,000 from the evening!

The wider Carroll family have also helped to raise funds; when Albie and his brother Kody were christened, instead of gifts the wider family gave donations to the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund and together raised a further £600. Christian concludes:

There are lots of different activities families can do to raise money and for us, it really helped us come to terms with what we have been through and adopt a positive attitude driving such a difficult time.

We want the charity to continue to help families like us and are thrilled that the money raised is going towards a new state of the art theatre.

Albie now has check-ups every six months but may require more treatment in the future depending on how his heart develops.