This year’s Giving Tuesday (the international day of giving on the 1st December every year) has been another huge success for Tiny Tickers. The Helping Hearts appeal, which aims to provide support to families facing congenital heart disease, has never been more needed than during the global pandemic. With the money raised, we will be able to ‘hug’ over 500 heart parents*, meaning we can send family support packs and hug buttons to those in need. (*updated as of 8th December)
The coronavirus pandemic has made an already difficult journey, even harder for the parents of babies with serious heart conditions. Some elective surgeries are being cancelled, some units aren’t operating and only one parent can be at their child’s bedside before and after surgery. Many outpatient clinics are cancelled and support is having to be given at arms length because of social distancing. Women are receiving the devastating news that their unborn baby has a serious heart defect at pregnancy scans they have to attend alone, without the physical presence of their partner or a family member. Tiny Tickers devised the Helping Hearts appeal to make sure these parents know they are not alone during their darkest hours.
On Giving Tuesday, we asked our supporters to donate £10 in order to send a virtual hug to a heart family. This enables us to send one support pack, containing vital information and support, to a family that needs it. Included in the pack is a hug button – a token parents can take to appointments and keep with them while in hospital as a reminder that they are not alone. The button reminds them that the entire heart community is there for them.
Fundraising and Communications Officer, Aimee Foster says, “I know how it feels to be told that your unborn baby has a serious heart condition. In 2012, when I received this news at my 20-week-scan, I was utterly devastated. I can’t begin to imagine how much worse it would have been if I were alone, without my husband in the scan room with me. Tiny Tickers’ family support packs provide families with information they can trust and also introduces them to a community of parents who are facing a similar battle. This support is crucial during normal times and even more so during the pandemic.”
Georgina Clarke – Stanley says, “I remember sitting next to my then 9 month old Grace in hospital who had just a day before been diagnosed with her congenital heart defect (CHD) and had never ever felt so alone. I can’t even bear to think what news like this must be like when parents have to be unaccompanied.”
Sophie Williams adds, “Honestly those booklets were a lifesaver for me, I read mine so many times, it was exactly what I needed. And now with the bonding squares and all the other wonderful additions, they’re so vital.”
Thank you to everyone who has supported this appeal and helped support families who need a hug more than ever.
Donate to our Helping Hearts appeal here.