Rebecca Jones is April’s Fundraiser of the Month. Read on to find out why!

Rebecca’s daughter Emily was diagnosed with a Ventricular Septal Defect at 9 days old. Emily was only 7 weeks old when she went for open heart surgery.

Whilst Emily was being treated, Rebecca and her family stayed in the parent accommodation we’re able to fund thanks to YOUR fantastic donations.

Rebecca was able to be by Emily’s side anytime, while Emily was cared for in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and then the High Dependency Unit (HDU).

“When we were walking back from HDU to our accommodation we discussed how we had to do something to say thank you.

Children’s Heart Surgery Fund had helped to save our daughter’s life, so I suppose it felt only natural to raise what we could to help other families.”

Rebecca and her family threw Emily a ‘Heart Party’, to celebrate her successful surgery and return home, to which they sold tickets.

Rebecca got creative and made handmade bunting, which she sold at the party. Her equally creative friend knitted coloured hearts and made delicious looking chocolate-covered strawberries.

They held a raffle which brought in plenty of donations and had lots of other activities to enjoy, including nail painting and glitter tattoos for the kids. There was even a surprise visit from Katie Bear!

“So many friends and family had never met Emily because we’d had to keep her away from germs pre & post-op.

It was a great opportunity to catch up with loved ones as well as raise lots of money for CHSF.”

Rebecca used JustGiving to collect extra donations and shared it on social media. She received donations from generous friends of friends, as well as her friends and family.

Since returning home and celebrating her Heart Party, little Emily is on the road to recovery.

Thanks to the great work of Leeds Congenital Heart Unit, she’ll live a happy, healthy life, without the need for further surgery.

After the party, Rebecca had a few final words to share, reflecting on her time in the hospital.

“I wanted to say thank you to CHSF for providing the Katie Bear Goes to Hospital book, medal & certificate!

I am looking forward to reading the book with Emily when she is older and showing her what a brave and strong little girl she was.

It must really help older children and their families.”

Big thanks to Rebecca, her family and all the guests that attended Emily’s Heart Party! Your support is appreciated.

If you’re looking to get involved with Children’s Heart Surgery Fund, take a look at our latest events: here. If you’d like to share your story, please e-mail or visit our #BecauseofYou page.