Leeds mum backs campaign to celebrate scars of heart patients for Children’s Heart Surgery Fund

A Leeds mum is backing a charity campaign to celebrate the scars of heart patients through inspiring pictures of her brave daughter.

By Daniel Sheridan
Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 11:45 am

The Scar Selfie campaign is run annually by Children’s Heart Surgery Fund (CHSF) on “National Selfie Day”, to raise awareness of congenital heart disease and the Leeds Congenital Heart Unit which CHSF has supported since 1988.

Now in its fourth year, supporters are asked to share inspiring photos of their scars across social media.

The campaign acknowledges the bravery of the patients, and celebrates their scars with the motto, every scar tells a story.

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Fran Simpson, from Garforth, gave birth in April 2020 and was told her daughter Savannah Simpson-Grant had a number of congenital heart defects.

Fran Simpson, from Garforth, gave birth in April 2020 and was told her daughter Savannah Simpson-Grant had a number of congenital heart defects.

Little Savannah weighed just five pounds and was taken straight to the neonatal intensive care unit to give her the best chance of survival.

She underwent open heart surgery at just three weeks old.

Due to the charity, Fran and Savannah were able to stay at Eckersley House to avoid having to travel long distances to be with her.

Fran Simpson, from Garforth, gave birth in April 2020 and was told her daughter Savannah Simpson-Grant had a number of congenital heart defects.

Fran said: "Unfortunately, with Savannah being born in the pandemic, this meant I had to go through this heartbreaking process alone.

“Thankfully due to CHSF, I was able to stay close to Savannah at Eckersley House for the time of our stay.

"Without them I’d have had to travel each day to be with her.”

“CHSF provided me with support throughout the whole pregnancy and after.

Fran Simpson, from Garforth, gave birth in April 2020 and was told her daughter Savannah Simpson-Grant had a number of congenital heart defects.

“I hadn’t heard of the charity until I had a child born with CHD, it’s something you don’t necessarily appreciate unless it happens to you.”

“Just to know that they’re there to support with anything they can, makes being in the situation a little easier.”

Savannah is now two years old and doing well, but will require further surgery and has further hospital treatment coming up in the next few months

“We are incredibly proud of Savannah’s scar, it represents who she is and how far she’s come", Fran added.

Fran Simpson, from Garforth, gave birth in April 2020 and was told her daughter Savannah Simpson-Grant had a number of congenital heart defects.

“We want people to get behind this campaign and raise awareness of the 1 in 100 babies who are born with congenital heart disease in our region.”

The Leeds Congenital Heart Unit helps thousands of youngsters across the north of England every single year and the charity's bosses are asking people share pictures of their scars on National Selfie Day by using the hashtag #ScarSelfie to inspire, encourage and enlighten others.

Andy McNally, the Head of Marketing at CHSF, said: "Our Scar Selfie campaign is now in its 4th year and we know the positive message it brings.”

"We are positively inspired by the bravery and resilience of the hundreds of CHD patients who undergo open heart surgery and life-saving procedures at the Leeds Congenital Heart Unit every day - every scar tells its own story.”

"This campaign is a great way of celebrating the incredible stories of these heart warriors. Please do support our wonderful cause if you can.”

To donate to Children’s Heart Surgery Fund, visit their website.