A huge round of applause goes to awesome Heart Mum, Jenny Thackeray who went the distance during lockdown to say thank you for the treatment her daughter HARRIET received at Leeds…

Jenny told us about Harriet’s heart journey so far and how that inspired her to fundraise for CHSF…

In Sep 2016, we welcomed the arrival of our identical twin girls, Harriet and Darcie. As with most multiple births, they arrived early, and we spent some time in the Special Care Baby Unit at Scarborough Hospital. During this time, a congenital heart defect was discovered in Harriet; a hole in the wall that separates the two lower chambers of the heart, a Ventricular Septal Defect.


Harriet’s heart defect continued to be monitored, in the hope it would close on its own, however, the reality gradually dawned that this was not going to be the case. Harriet would require open heart surgery to repair the hole, to enable her to live a life without increased risk of heart disease, stroke, or other complications.


Harriet’s surgery took place on 3rd Aug 2018, almost age two, under the care of Miss Van Doorn at Leeds Congenital Heart Unit.

The care received at Leeds is something we will be forever grateful for and a time we will never forget. Not only did Harriet receive the best care, we, as very anxious parents, were made to feel welcome and were housed nearby, so that we were never far away, giving us huge comfort at such a tense time.


Children’s Heart Surgery Fund (CHSF) is a charity that supports Leeds Congenital Heart Unit, providing funding and resources to help care for the patients at the unit and their families. During the pandemic ‘lockdown’ that began in March 2020 I took up running, and later decided to set myself a challenge to raise some money to give back to CHSF.


I signed up to ‘Jog On 2020’ and run a marathon over 10 days from 26th Dec. Cheered on by Harriet and Darcie, I completed the challenge on 3rd January!


I have been so overwhelmed with generosity and support, raising a total of £1742. Given the current circumstances and the time of year, I am especially thankful that people have chosen to sponsor me. I know this money will mean such a lot to Children’s Heart Surgery Fund, and I’m so glad we got to give them something back.

Jenny – you are simply fantastic! And an even bigger thank you to the friends and family who sponsored you! Everything CHSF does for heart families in our region is because of amazing fundraisers like you!


Think you could take on a challenge to fundraise for our heart unit? Head over to our new VIRTUAL EVENTS CALENDAR for 2021 and take your pick of fundraising activities throughout the year.

Got a different idea? Need a bit more help? Don’t know where to start?

The CHSF Team are always here to give you a helping hand. Just call 0113 831 4810 or drop Lisa an email on lisa.williams@chsf.org.uk