UPDATE: We are delighted to announce that the Christmas lights campaign has now raised £2256 for tiny hearts. A huge thank you to Billy, and Rebecca, who gave so much of their time and to the staff at Golin London who created such a powerful and inspiring film. We hope this gives all those facing a diagnosis, or currently dealing with CHD, a little glimmer of positivity in what is a really challenging time. This is for all of our tiny hearts.
From 4pm tomorrow on December 20 the Christmas lights of Seven Dials in Covent Garden will be driven by the heartbeat of Billy; a 2 year old heart patient. They will flicker in time with his heartbeat.
WATCH THE VIDEO
Currently, the ‘Merry Christmas from Seven Dials’ lights are static, however with the help from Billy and his heartbeat, the Christmas lights will pulse in time to Billy’s heartbeat for 24 hours across December, to help shine a light on the plight of babies and children who miss Christmas due to serious heart conditions.
312 UK babies with a serious heart condition will be born over the Christmas period – and 1,000 babies leave hospitals in the UK every year with an undetected heart condition.
We hope this will highlight that whilst everyone else is admiring the Christmas lights, many babies and young children face a very different Christmas; in hospital waiting for, or recovering from, open heart surgery
Young Billy was diagnosed with Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA) at his mum’s 20 week scan. TGA is a condition where the two main blood vessels leaving the heart are swapped over and affects 1 in 10,000 babies. After a traumatic 13-hour operation at just 7 days old, Billy has come on in leaps and bounds and is starting to find his feet at 2 years old.
“Christmas is meant to be the happiest time of year but I think it’s very easy to forget that lots of families could be going through a really hard time – and sadly they don’t get to enjoy the holidays together,” said Billy’s mum.
“I really wanted to be involved in this idea because there’s been many Christmases where we’ve been in this situation – and I want other families to know they’re not alone. I think it’s really important to keep making noise and raising awareness about heart disease – but also make people aware of the wider impact it has on families. Most of all we just really want people to stop and think, because it could happen to them.
“Thankfully we have incredible support from charities such as Tiny Tickers – but the funding doesn’t magically appear, it relies on donations from the public. So I really hope this activation encourages people to donate – even if it’s just a small amount.”
Please give the ‘gift of hope’ to a sick child by donating this Christmas.