We’re delighted to be a chosen charity for the BBC Lifeline appeal. Presented by Gabby Logan, our appeal film showcases our work and explains how our supporters’ generous donations help fund our vital and potentially life-saving work.
Why we’re making this appealEvery two hours a baby is born with a serious heart condition – this includes babies just like Rocco and Tommy who’s stories feature in the film, and the many, many others you can read about on this website.
Both boys were born with Transposition of the Great Arteries but, sadly, they have very different stories to tell. Stories that show beneficial early detection of congenital heart disease can be.
The appeal film shows how two of our projects help:
- The expert training we provide to sonographers delivering 20 week pregnancy scans – the best chance to spot CHD before birth.
- Our Think HEART campaign which teaches new parents and health professionals five signs a newborn may have an undetected heart condition.
Tommy’s storyTommy’s condition wasn’t picked up in his 20 week scan. When he was born he was beautiful, the perfect baby. But soon started to display all the signs of heart failure, which Natasha now knows about – his skin was a blue colour, he didn’t want to feed, he was very sleepy and cold to touch. Natasha knew something was wrong but still no one realised Tommy has CHD. Tragically, at 11 days old, Tommy passed away.
Natasha says: “I can never explain to someone the pain of losing your baby. It’s a pain nobody wants to imagine or ever feel.”
Rocco’s storyRocco had the same heart condition as Tommy, and his mum Lisa is convinced her sonographer helped save Rocco’s life by spotting his CHD during their 20 week scan.
Lisa says: “The sonographer took my hand and said ‘I can see a problem with your baby’s heart’. My world fell apart in a second. I clung on to the hope that, although extremely serious, the condition was fixable. The fact that our little one’s heart defect had been detected prior to birth, meant that he would be in the best possible place and receive the best possible care. I have no doubt that the sonographer saved his life.”
At just six days old, Rocco had open heart surgery. The Lifeline appeal film sees Lisa and husband Jon share their experience, including the emotional moment Lisa got to hug her baby for the first time following his operation. You can read Rocco’s full story here
Training the UK’s sonographersThe Lifeline appeal film tells how our sonographer training help improve early detection of CHD – helping babies with life-threatening heart defects get the best possible start in life.
Since 2002, we’ve been providing hands-on expert training to sonographers. We’ve trained hundreds of professionals in around two -thirds of maternity hospitals around the UK, playing a part in doubling the national rate of antenatal detection of CHD.
Jan Forster is a consultant cardiac sonographer and our of our expert trainers. Jan says: “The Tiny Tickers training is really important as it provides specialist cardiac training to small groups of sonographers on their own equipment in their own department. The training covers the five screening views and helps the sonographers recognise normal and abnormal hearts.”
If you would like more information or would like to know about training please contact us email@example.com
How you can help
- Watch the appeal – on Sunday May 21st on BBC1 at 4:00pm, repeated on Wednesday May 24th at 1pm
- Visit the BBC Lifeline appeal page where you can watch the film, read more from Gabby, she behind-the-scenes photos and learn more about Rocco and Tommy
- Share the appeal and BBC Lifeline appeal page with everyone and anyone you know – forward emails, share on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram
- Donate via the BBC Lifeline appeal page
We are so grateful for the generosity of our supporters – thank you!
Your donation really counts
- £5 could pay for two new diagnosis support packs to be sent to parents who have just been told the devastating news that their baby has CHD.
- £10 could pay for 1,000 Think HEART cards to be produced. These cards alert parents and health professionals to the signs of heart problems.
- £25 could produce materials for 40 GP surgeries – giving information on spotting the signs of an undetected CHD and cards they can share with patients.
- £75 could pay for one sonographer to receive specialist training. He or she could identify a heart condition in an unborn baby and help save its life.