A group of friends from across Manchester are joining forces to raise funds for a charity that provides free heart surgery to babies and children in developing countries.

The group is planning to take part in a 23-mile hike with a goal of raising £6,000 for Healing Little Hearts, starting in Harlech, along the Wales Coastal Path to Penmaenpool.

The friends have come together to support the family of a little girl from Old Trafford called Liv who they lost in 2017 due to a rare heart condition. She was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and sadly died at just five months old.

Liv and her parents spent a number of weeks in intensive care at Alder Hey hospital following her heart surgery. During that time her family was deeply touched to learn about a charity called Healing Little Hearts from some of the surgeons and cardiac nurses who were involved.

The charity funds trips to poor areas of Africa and India where surgeons carry out surgery for free, saving the lives of many children who would not ordinarily be able to access medical care. Since losing Liv, her family have been determined to do something to help this charity, which is very close to their hearts, and do something positive in Liv’s name.

By raising £6,000 they can sponsor a camp in Liv’s memory, the sponsorship will cover the basic costs of the trip for a team of surgeons to go to India or Africa to carry out much needed surgical interventions to help other babies and young children with congenital heart conditions.

Julie Williams, age 44, Liv’s mum explains why the group decided to raise money for Healing Little Hearts. She says, “Our precious daughter, Liv, was born with a serious heart condition. When she was one week old we were given the news that her condition was terminal and we took her home with the devastating knowledge that she would survive only one or two weeks. Liv actually survived three months before we were finally given an option of surgery and a chance at life, although the team at Alder Hey did everything they could for her, seven weeks after surgery, Liv sadly passed away.

While we were at the hospital, we heard about the charity because some of the surgeons were getting ready to go on a camp to India to save and improve the lives of children who would otherwise not get access to much needed treatment. It broke our hearts to think of other children suffering and dying needlessly, and it reminded us how lucky we are to have such talented medical teams who dedicate themselves to performing highly specialised heart surgeries on a daily basis. We wanted to do something to help and support these incredible surgeons and nurses and our friends and family wanted to support us too, so we suggested a fundraising hike and we were overwhelmed with how many people were up for joining in.

So, we’ve planned our route along the Wales Coastal Path and have until September to raise £6,000, and train for the hike. We are so grateful to everyone who is joining us on the day, and thank you to everyone who has donated so far to this very special cause.”

In addition, two teams of friends and family in Sydney and Queensland, Australia, will be taking part in a parallel hike on the same day to support Liv’s family and raise money for this fantastic cause.

Healing Little Hearts sends medical teams to Africa and India to perform life-saving surgeries (open heart surgery and interventional cardiac catheterisation) to give children the life they deserve. They also teach and train the local staff at partner hospitals to become self- sufficient.

The fundraising hike takes place on 11th September 2021, so there’s plenty of time to donate.

Click here to find out more and donate.


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