The Gerlis Collection, consisting of 785 human hearts with defects, is being brought to life in stunning 3D holograms and models, because of you!

Back in the 1960s, Killingbeck Hospital in Leeds pioneered congenital heart defect repairs when knowledge was still limited.

Dr Leon Gerlis was a pathologist and paediatric cardiologist, who added enormously to the scientific understanding of congenital heart defects by building a collection of preserved human hearts.

Gerlis’ collection played a pivotal role in training cardiac surgeons in Leeds. However, regulations now make access to the specimens for learning difficult (Human Tissue Act).

But with modern technology the Leeds Congenital Heart Unit (led by surgeon and CHSF Trustee Carin Van Doorn) is performing MRI scans to create virtual archives of Gerlis’ hearts.

Dr. Leon Gerlis’ collection ensured Leeds was at the forefront of congenital cardiac repair when knowledge was limitied.

This is also thanks to a generous grant of £115,800 from Children’s Heart Surgery Fund, Heart Research UK and Leeds Hospitals Charity.

These scans will generate 3D models and holograms – breaking down barriers to education and research.

This innovation will empower healthcare professionals with advanced training tools and aid patients, families and the public in visualising congenital heart defects.

Heidi Watson, CEO of Children’s Heart Surgery Fund said:

“We are excited to help to digitise the pioneering work of Dr Gerlis for educational benefit, and incredibly proud the work is being led by Miss Carin Van Doorn, one of our long-standing and principal cardiac surgeons and a hero to many of our charity’s heart families.


“The world-class Leeds Congenital Heart Unit suppported by the CHSF was built on a legacy of pioneering achievements and medical breakthroughs from its origins at Killingbeck.


“This revolutionary project will enhance the understanding and treatment of congenital heart disease all around the world, and make a huge difference to the lives of future generations.”

Read all about it!

Thanks to the Yorkshire Evening Post for featuring the beginnings of this exciting project in the paper this week.

Read the article here

Georgie visits the MRI Clinic

Georgie visits the MRI Clinic

written by Georgie Abbott Yesterday I had the privilege to spend time at an MRI Cardiac Clinic headed up by Dr Malenka Bissell. Malenka is passionate about enhancing this clinic to provide the best possible care for babies and children with congenital heart disease in...

Georgie Shadows Play Specialist Emma

Georgie Shadows Play Specialist Emma

It’s the Little Things that have the Biggest Impact written by Georgie Abbott At the start of September we celebrated all our incredible young heart warriors and their families at our annual Children’s Heart Surgery Fund Superhero Walk. It was heart-warming to see...

New ECHO Software for LCHU

New ECHO Software for LCHU

Because of you, CHSF have been able to fund new state-of-the-art software for the Congenital Echo department at the Leeds Congenital Heart Unit. The team got it up and running in July, and it's already making a big difference in the clinic! This software provides the...