We’re delighted to have raised over £4,000 in a week for Alder Hey Children Hospital and Charity. When we planned the campaign, we had no idea how many of our families who swim with us have needed the support and expertise of Alder Hey, either in the past or currently. We’re so grateful to have such amazing facilities close by and to be able to support them, saving lives whilst teaching our own children valuable life-saving skills.
Olivia Bradshaw is one of our Little Dippers and swims with us at Days Hotel pool in Chester. She was just 2 weeks old when Alder Hey Hospital saved her life.
Without the crucial heart surgery she received, Olivia would not be the happy, healthy and smiling little girl she is today, looking forward to a normal, action-packed and exciting life.
Mum and Dad, Lisa and James, enjoy Puddle Ducks classes every week and know how important swimming is for her ongoing health. When we asked for nominations for charities to support during our PJ week, they couldn’t wait to nominate Alder Hey Children’s Charity and were delighted when it won the vote. They wanted to share their story with us and to encourage Puddle Ducks customers to raise as much money as possible. Like Lisa and James, none of us expect our children to become ill, but if they do, it’s reassuring that that we have such an amazing hospital on our doorstep.
Olivia was born in April 2013. Lisa and James brought her home and, for 2 weeks, lived in the happy, blissful bubble of having a newborn baby. It was a Thursday afternoon during that second week when their midwife came to the house for a routine visit. She had a slight concern that Olivia had not regained her birth weight but also noticed that Olivia’s breathing was laboured. Within 2 hours, Olivia had been admitted to the Countess of Chester Hospital, placed in an incubator and put on medication to keep her alive.
The consultant paediatric cardiologist confirmed the devastating news that Olivia was suffering from a Coarctation of the Aorta (a narrowing of her main artery which left her working harder than normal to pump blood around her body). Olivia needed immediate heart surgery to save her life.
The next morning she was transferred to Alder Hey Hospital. Her surgery was booked for the following week, which meant that Lisa and James had the agonising wait over the bank holiday weekend. Olivia’s surgery lasted 4 hours, which Lisa says was, “the longest day of our lives”.
The surgery went well, Olivia spent only 24 hours in intensive care and before being moved to the High Dependency Unit. After an incredible 4 days, Olivia was allowed home. Lisa told us, “Olivia fought so hard and her recovery was amazing. We couldn’t believe we were home so soon.
Throughout our 12 day stay at Alder Hey, the surgeons spoke to us every day and explained everything that was happening in a way we could understand. The nurses, and in fact every member of staff we had contact with, were brilliant. They couldn’t care enough for their patients and don’t just support the children but their families too.
Her mum Lisa said “We owe everything to Alder Hey Hospital. They didn’t just save Olivia, they saved us too. They are remarkable, they really are”.
Olivia will be under the care of Alder Hey Hospital until she is 18, so we want to do as much as we can to ensure that every family receives the care and support that we did. We support Alder Hey Children’s Charity whenever we can to allow them to continue their amazing care. We’re delighted that Puddle Ducks are supporting us during PJ Week and would love everyone to raise as much money as possible.”