Larne woman’s appeal to help mend baby heart defects

Jacqui Seymour launches Northern Ireland Chest, Heart and Stroke's Causeway trek, Pic by Gillian Abraham. INLT 14-657-CON

Jacqui Seymour launches Northern Ireland Chest, Heart and Stroke's Causeway trek, Pic by Gillian Abraham. INLT 14-657-CON

Larne grandmother Jacqui Seymour is seeking support for the Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke’s ‘Baby Hearts ‘ Appeal.

Jacqui’s grandson, Joe, underwent a heart operation when he was just days old and now, aged only seven months, faces two further heart operations.

(NICHS) has launched a ‘Baby Hearts Appeal’ to raise funds for research into why babies like Joe are born with heart defects. In support of this appeal, Jacqui was the first to sign up for NICHS’s annual Causeway Trek, which is taking place on Saturday May31 with participants raising funds to support of NICHS’ work, including the ‘Baby Hearts’ research.

NICHS is now calling for walkers in Larne to join Jacqui for the Causeway Trek and 11 miles of spectacular scenery taking in fabulous views of Whitepark Bay, Dunseverick Harbour and Ballintoy.

Jacqui said “When we were given the news that Joe had a serious heart defect and would need three major operations to help him survive his condition, for once, I couldn’t hug my daughter and tell her it would be okay.

“As any mother knows, to watch your child in pain and not be able to fix it, is the hardest thing to bear. In the weeks following Joe’s birth, there were many days of pain and uncertainty.

“When Joe had his first heart operation at just six days old and almost didn’t pull through, it resulted in him having to stay in hospital for seven weeks. I realised that a grandparent experiences double sorrow, seeing their own child in pain and their beloved grandchild is seriously unwell and may not survive.”

To register, visit www.nichs.org.uk/trek

For more information please contact Cheryl Brown on 028 9032 0184 or cbrown@nichs.org.uk.

“There has also been unbelievable joy, watching Joe smile for the first time, hearing him giggle and laugh, or just looking at him sleeping peacefully. My way of dealing with the uncertainty is to try to find a way to help and this is why I signed up to the Causeway Trek. The NICHS research may well find a reason why congenital heart disease happens and I think that that’s a cause worth supporting. I hope that in the future, unlike me, another mother will be able to hug her son or daughter and tell them that everything is going to be ok. That’s a dream worth walking a few miles for.”


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