Mother cycles 205 miles in aid ofhospital which saved her son

Date: Friday 22nd June 2018
Oliver Smith
Oliver Smith

A MOTHER whose toddler son underwent open heart surgery has raised more than £1,000 for the hospital which treated him.

Sarah Smith on her cycle ride to raise funds for the hospital which treated her son
Sarah Smith on her cycle ride to raise funds for the hospital which treated her son

Sarah Smith, aged 39, of Crosby Ravensworth, took her two-year-old son, Oliver, to the doctors in July as she suspected he had an ear infection. However, it was discovered the toddler had a heart murmur.

Following hospital visits, it was confirmed that Oliver had a hole in his heart and a leaky heart valve. Sarah said there had not been any warning signs previously, except for his lips and hands sometimes going blue.

Two months after his initial visit to the doctors, Oliver underwent a six-hour open heart operation, which Sarah described as “horrendous”.

“We can’t thank the heart unit enough for what they have done. Without them he wouldn’t have grown up,” she said.

After a few days in intensive care and the high dependency unit at the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle, Oliver was attempting to get back to his normal self and trying to run around.

Sarah wanted to do her bit for the hospital, so she decided to take part in a sponsored cycle ride.

Alongside three friends from the North East, she rode the 205-mile Lakes and Dales route over three days. She said the route was quite hilly and difficult at times.

Sarah, who is married to Nick and also has a daughter, Isabelle, aged 11, said the group motivated each other throughout the ride. She said she felt happy and proud on crossing the finish line.

She thanked everyone who had donated to the fundraiser, which was in aid of the Children’s Heart Unit Fund. Visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sean-cato2 to donate.