Peggy, 3, leads fundraising for hospital after open heart surgery

A Scarborough toddler who was born with two holes in her heart is helping to raise money for the hospital unit that saved her life.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 10th February 2017, 2:34 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th February 2017, 11:42 am
Scarborough toddler Peggy Hall raising money for the Children's Heart Surgery Fund after she had life-saving open heart surgery as a baby.
Scarborough toddler Peggy Hall raising money for the Children's Heart Surgery Fund after she had life-saving open heart surgery as a baby.

Three-year-old Peggy Hall was born in May 2013 after a normal pregnancy, but parents Lisa and Dan were left shocked at a six-week check-up to discover their daughter had congenital heart disease, a condition that develops in the womb.

Lisa said: “It was heartbreaking. It is the worst thing in the world when you see your child in trouble.”

Peggy saw a cardiologist at Hull Royal Infirmary where a scan revealed she had a two holes between four chambers which changed the normal flow of blood through her heart.At four months old, Peggy spent a three-week stint in Scarborough Hospital as a result of not gaining weight.

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On return to their home in Hoxton Road, Lisa could sense days later that Peggy was deteriorating and called a cardiologist based at Leeds General Infirmary in a desperate plea for help.

Peggy had a scan on her heart in Leeds and within 24 hours Lisa and Dan discovered the extent of their daughter’s declining health.

Lisa said: “We got the call asking to bring Peggy in as soon as we could and they would be moving her operation to the top of the list, it was that serious.

“It was horrific. I wouldn’t want anyone else going through what we have. Peggy is lucky to be with us today.”

Peggy underwent the operation to close the biggest hole in her heart which ultimately saved her life in November 2013. Since then the smaller hole has closed up itself and the youngster has not looked back since.

“Peggy is the toughest cookie,” Lisa said. “We were worried at first but she was rolling and crawling in no time. She went from a very static baby, making no sounds to now being very lively and it’s a case of getting her to stop talking now!

“She has been through the worst hopefully now and she can enjoy a bright future.”

Peggy attends Buckets and Spades Nursery, which took part in the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund’s Wear Red Day. The fund-raising is all about accumulating £500,000 for a new state of the art children’s theatre based at Leeds General Infirmary, where Peggy had her crucial operation.

The 133-child nursery, in Victoria Road, raised £155 altogether during a fun day which saw staff and students wear red, a cake sale and a host of enjoyable activities for the children.

Lisa Chesterfield, deputy manager, 34, said: “Peggy is a bubbly and chatty little girl who has been through the wars. I have seen her and the family go through the ordeal and it is great to see Peggy now thriving in all areas.

“It is great that we have such a great relationship with parents that they can come to us and ask about events such as these. It was a fantastic day and we’re delighted to have raised the amount of money we have.”

Peggy and her family got the best news in the summer when a cardiologist told them they were pleased with her progress and that she didn’t need a check up for another five years.

Mum Lisa said: “I just had tears of joy. It was the perfect news. We’ll never forget what we’ve been through.

“It has been a rollercoaster of emotions for us as a family. It was horrendous but now we have got the best possible outcome which we have to be grateful for.

“ I’d like to thank the Leeds unit who cared for Peggy and the staff at Buckets and Spades who have been fantastic.

“I hope the money that we have raised will help make sure parents and children in the future don’t have to go through the same as we did.”