Several Yorkshire families know only too well about the importance of the city’s children’s heart surgery unit.
Lyall Cookward, three, was diagnosed with a heart condition before he was born. Three weeks after his birth in Leeds, the tot, pictured, suffered heart failure and needed risky surgery to survive.
In January 2010, Lyall had corrective open heart surgery at LGI, but later was diagnosed with a rare lung condition.
He spent six months on the children’s intensive care unit and after returning home to Chapel Allerton, Leeds, doctors thought he would need a ventilator for several years. But he defied predictions and is now walking with frame.
His parents Steph Ward and Sharron Cook say the fact all the experts in children’s hospital services are on one site at the LGI were vital. Steph said: “Obviously we are delighted-the judge has clearly seen through the flaws in this process and accepted that for the process to be fair and transparent all parties should have access to the same information.”
Another Yorkshire mum has found herself at the centre of the campaign to keep the unit open.
Lois Brown, from Skipton, says her daughter Amelie would not have survived if heart experts had not been at Leeds General Infirmary.
Amelie, who was born with a heart defect, stopped breathing at the age of 10 months and a consultant had to speed from Leeds to Airedale Hospital, near Keighley, to stabilise her.
By the time Amelie was taken back to Leeds, she was crashing and underwent three bouts of open heart surgery by the time she was a year old.
Lois, who was in court, said: “It’s not the end, we know that, but it’s a great hurdle to get over and a brilliant victory for us.
My hope is that a sensible compromise will be found. For all the families who have worked so hard campaigning, and raised significant amounts of money, it’s brilliant.”