Helping tiny hearts for 20 years
On the 8th November 2019, Tiny Tickers celebrates our 20th birthday. Since 1999 we have achieved so much for babies born with serious heart conditions and, during our 20th year, we plan to celebrate our impact, while looking ahead at how we can help heart babies over the next twenty years and beyond.
Our HistoryTiny Tickers was formed on the 8th November 1999 by world-renowned fetal cardiologist, Professor Helena Gardiner, when when she realised many of the babies she was caring for could have been helped earlier.
Professor Gardiner says, ‘As a doctor caring for unborn babies with congenital heart defects, I saw how much having a diagnosis during pregnancy improved the lives of both babies and their families, by providing support and expert care through this difficult time. This inspired me to establish Tiny Tickers to train sonographers to scan babies’ hearts in the womb more confidently. The results speak for themselves – a recent report from the National Congenital Heart Audit (NICOR Congenital) shows that 53.5% of all CHD now have a prenatal detection across the whole UK – double the detection rate we saw when Tiny Tickers began 20 years ago.’
Sixty years ago, the majority of babies born with congenital heart disease (CHD) didn’t survive to see their first birthday. Today, 8 out of 10 babies born with CHD survive into adulthood.
Since 1999 we have made great strides in improving the outcomes for babies with serious heart conditions. Even just since 2016, we have trained 1478 sonographers in 118 hospitals and placed 127 pulse oximetry machines at hospitals all over the UK. This means around 184,500 babies per year receive pulse oximetry tests on Tiny Tickers-funded machines and around 369,500 scans are carried out every year by Tiny Tickers-trained sonographers. Plus, our awareness and support films have been viewed over 71, 000 times.
As a very small charity, with a team of just six staff members, we’re incredibly proud of our achievements over the past 20 years. But there is still a lot to do…
Our mission is to ensure every baby with a serious heart condition has the best chance of survival and quality of life.
Over the past 20 years, the UK’s average antenatal detection rates of CHD have risen from 23% to just over 50%. We want that figure to be 75%.
How do we plan to achieve that? We’ll continue working tirelessly to:
1. Train and support sonographers and other health professionals working to help patients with CHD;
2. Influence service standards and be a voice for CHD patients and their families;
3. Fund equipment and support new technologies to improve detection, diagnosis and treatment of CHD;
4. Provide families with information, advice and access to support during their CHD journey.
As a small charity that receives no government funding, nothing we have achieved and will achieve is possible without our generous supporters. From the organisations who fund our projects, to the runners, skydivers, bakers and Facebook fundraisers who raise vital funds – without your support we simply couldn’t continue our life-saving work.
Thank you for helping us get to 20 years and for giving babies with serious heart conditions a better start in life. This 20th birthday milestone is a celebration for us all – and we couldn’t be prouder.