£500,000 is raised to help pay for Leeds heart theatre

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A campaign to raise half a million pounds to help upgrade hospital facilities for children with heart problems has reached its £500,000 fundraising target.

The Keeping the Beat campaign, backed by the Yorkshire Evening Post, was launched by the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund (CHSF) to help pay for a new theatre at Leeds General Infirmary.

The new facility will offer life-saving surgery to babies and children with congenital heart disease.

Fundraisers celebrated after reaching the target - thanks to a breakthrough donation of £7,500 from Wakefield Chantry Rotary Club.

Sharon Coyle, Chief Executive of the CHSF, said: “We’re on cloud nine to have reached this target within two years, and once again our supporters throughout the region have shown their dedication, generosity and passion in reaching this significant milestone.

“The new theatre will significantly improve outcomes for present and future generations of CHD patients in our region.”

The new ‘hybrid’ theatre will provide an environment where surgeons and cardiologists can work together to help the sickest children with the most complex needs.

It will offer open heart surgery and keyhole operations for youngsters at the hospital.

Building work on the theatre started in January and is expected to be finished next February.

The Wakefield donation was made after Rotary Club President Dick Wood and his partner Maggie Ablitt made an appeal for funds.

Carin van Doorn, Head of Congenital Cardiac Surgery, said: “The new hybrid operating theatre will allow surgeons and catheter specialists to work together during operations, which will be of benefit particularly for complex and for high risk patients.

“We are thrilled to see the hybrid theatre being built now, and are extremely grateful to the CHSF and to all those amazing donors who are making this possible.”