A huge thanks to the Yorkshire Evening Post for their “Have A Heart” campaign for CHSF this year. An extract from their article on Sam is replicated below…

Sam Robinson is hoping to turn her harrowing experience into something positive as she becomes deputy chair of trustees at the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund, which supports the congenital heart unit at Leeds General Infirmary.


Sam’s son Zane, now nine, was just two weeks old when he had ten hours of surgery at the unit to correct a life-threatening defect called transposition of the great arteries.


Sam, 42, of Alwoodley, told the YEP:

We first came across the heart surgery fund when I met someone on the ward who gave me a certificate and a teddy and said if I needed anything to keep in touch.


Four years after that I was reading a newsletter and saw they needed a parent trustee and I thought I could do that. I applied and got the job.

Now, five years on, she has been promoted to deputy chairwoman and will juggle the role with her day-to-day job as head of operations at NHS Digital as well as being a busy mum to Zane, Lola, 11 and Gabriel, 5.

She will support new chairman and fellow ‘heart parent’ Paul Goodwin, 52 – the first time the charity’s trustees’ board has been headed by parents trustees in the top two roles.

Paul’s daughter Martha, now five, was diagnosed with the same condition as Zane and had open heart surgery at the unit when she was just six days old. Read their story here.

Sam said:

I think it’s really good that Paul and I are both parents. When you’re making decisions about funding – it might be new pieces of equipment, or refurbishments – you can bring a different perspective to it, with the experience we’ve had and how much that means to families.

You can read the full article on the Yorkshire Evening Post website here.