Forest Town dad launches fight to save heart unit at Leicester’s Glenfield Hospital

NMAC11-1644-1'Chris Miller and son Thomas who are campaigning for Glenfield Hospital
NMAC11-1644-1'Chris Miller and son Thomas who are campaigning for Glenfield Hospital

A FOREST Town dad whose one-year-old son could face open heart surgery has joined the fight to save the children’s heart unit at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester.

Chris Miller’s son Thomas was born with a coarctation (narrowing) of his artery and has already had exploratory surgery to investigate the problem, but may need a further operation at the hospital for the life-threatening condition.

The paediatric cardiac surgery centre is one of 11 specialist heart units in England but is under currently threat from closure as part of a national NHS review.

Through its pioneering surgery, aftercare, dedicated staff and the associated Heart Link charity, it has given many families across Nottinghamshire hope for the future but now it is in the firing line.

Now Chris and his partner, along other concerned parents whose children have heart conditions, is urging Mansfield folk to support Glenfield and raise cash for the vital heart unit.

“It is a very hard time for us but we know that Thomas is in the best possible hands at the best hospital and it is absolutely vital that it stays open,” said Chris, of Yew Tree Avenue.

“It will not just impact on ourselves but other parents right across Nottinghamshire - it is very worrying to see your son in hospital.”

If the heart unit closes, Chris face a 150-mile round trip to Birmingham Children’s Hospital for his son’s treatment.

But Chris says that the support his family have received from staff at Glenfield Hospital’s heart unit and Heart Link is ‘outstanding’ and its closure would be devastating for its many users.

“It is a major hospital and they are extremely good at what they do, having to drive to Birmingham is a longer journey which doesn’t help when your son could be facing open heart surgery,” he added.

To help Chris and other parents across Nottinghamshire support Glenfield Hospital visit the Leicester Hospitals site at www.uhl-tr.nhs.uk and click on the heart or visit www.facebook.com and search for Glenfield Hospital.