I am a Consultant Congenital Cardiac Surgeon at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, Liverpool, UK. I have over 12 years of experience in Congenital Cardiac Surgery and 22 years of experience in Cardiothoracic surgery. My special interests include neonatal; complex intra cardiac and bi-ventricular repairs; pectus and chest wall reconstructive surgery and humanitarian surgery.
I have been associated with Healing Little Hearts Charity for a decade now; led 24 camps and performed nearly 250 operations with the charity. I enjoy every camp and like going to new places. Healing Little Hearts provides a sense of fulfilment in life by being able to use my skills to save the lives of poor children across the globe. I immensely benefit from the camps by learning new things, improving my surgical skills and innovating surgical techniques as per the resources, networking and making new friends. I also enjoy the teaching elements of the camps and very much interested in developing sustainable local care delivered by the local teams in deprived areas of the world.
I am the trustee and lead cardiac surgeon for the charity. In September 2019 I was awarded “British Heart Foundation’s Health Care Hero 2019” and the “Life Time achievement award from TAL (Telugu Association of London)”.
I follow a simple philosophy “Wherever you go, leave a heart print”
With a strong passion for helping others, when the opportunity came to work with a childrens charity I was honoured to assist in the growth and development.
Six years ago I joined the charity having come from a background in marketing, design, and print. I currently work in the creative sector and am part of a family run design and print business.
My objective is to find innovative ways to raise the charity’s profile and funds. This includes working on various marketing campaigns through both print and digital media. I am currently project managing the charity’s new website and social media. It gives me great satisfaction to know that many more children in the developing parts of the world and families here in the UK will benefit from the enormous outreach provided by our marketing initiatives.
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”
My journey with Healing Little Hearts began in 2014. It was here I was given the opportunity to truly make a difference and help people. Being a nurse for over 30 years and having volunteered on 10 camps, I realised I could give more to this wonderful charity.
My core task is to help put teams together – forging long standing relationships with medical and nursing volunteers and also those in our partner hospitals. I look after the patient database to ensure we comply with governance.
I also assist with social media and website as well as support our fundraisers.
Our new treasurer Barbara Gibbs, has been associated with Healing Little Hearts for many years through supporting her fundraising husband in his, at times ridiculous adventures.
Barbara started her career as a Senior Personal Assistant to the Managing Director of a large Leicester engineering company before moving into multi-national accounts in her own company. She became an accomplished handler of Sage accounts systems, training and teaching as well as running actual account systems. Prior to her retirement, Barbara was a Financial Controller of a multi-million-pound turnover logistics company.
Barbara brings a wealth of practical experience to the charity and is already making a huge difference to the management of our essential administration and accounts.
Steve Gibbs, at 80 years old, but going on 45, has a history of successful fundraising for, amongst others, Save The Children Fund, BBC Children in Need, The British Heart Foundation, Diabetes UK and Healing Little Hearts.
Steve was persuaded to join the team in 2017 by his daughter who is one of our volunteer nurses, after having completed a 3000 mile plus solo Tuk Tuk drive all around the twelve cardinal points of mainland UK. He raised around £6000 for the charity.
Although well retired as well as being pacemaker powered, suffering from COPD and Sleep disorders, Steve hopes to bring a some new thoughts to progressing our fundraising which includes managing the collecting box scheme, organising local dining events and concerts, working with local organisations and continuing with the mad travelling schemes. “My target is to get to £10,000 a year minimum” says Steve. “My motto is that inside every heart lies the ability to make a difference.” I will do that!
I joined Healing Little Hearts in 2016 and have been leading the expansion of the charities reach in East Africa. My aim, which I share with the charity, is to set up a Congenital Heart Centre in Kenya. I am passionate about the work being carried out in Kenya by our medical teams. Being a Kenyan this holds a special place in my heart.
Our medical teams in Kenya have made significant strides over the last few years. We have completed 7 missions and our last 3 were combined open heart and interventional catheter missions – a rare feat but representing the ethos of how a congenital heart service should operate. We have so far seen more than 500 patients and carried out more than a 100 operations with outcomes comparable to any western centre despite the complexity of cases.
I am a consultant at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool and my training in congenital cardiology has been across the three London centres – Great Ormond Street Hospital, Royal Brompton Hospital and Evelina London Children’s Hospital. I am also part of the medical board which discusses complex cases seen by Healing Little Hearts which need to be operated in other established centres.
I joined the Healing Little Hearts Committee in 2013 having attended Healing Little Hearts fund raising events since its formation in 2007. I saw first-hand how its mission to save lives of children galvanised the passion and generosity of the people in Leicester and the trajectory in the number of lives it was able to save, year after year. I wanted to contribute to this.
My role is to raise funds to enable highly dedicated and immensely skilled medical teams to go to camps around the world to perform the life saving surgery. The generosity of Doctors and Nurses who are willing to give up their free time (often their annual leave) means that the opportunity to save children is limited to a large extent by the amount of funds that can be raised. As a Committee Member I am involved in fund-raising events such as Balls; submitting funding applications to Trusts and Foundations, profiling the charity and assisting with its strategy and governance.
Whilst Healing Little Hearts has saved over 1000 lives and is expanding into further under-developed countries, it’s ambition (to save the lives of as many children as possible) can only be achieved if substantial funds are continually being raised.
I am solicitor practising in Leicester, married to a Doctor and we have two daughters.
With over 25 years of PR, Marketing and Sales Management experience across a number of industries including TV, Film, Radio and in more recent years the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries, I have always felt compelled to share my corporate skills in a more philanthropic way, supporting causes that help increase the well-being of those in need. I have spent much of my spare time volunteering with a number of animal welfare charities in Asia and lived in Thailand for six months rescuing elephants and other wildlife from the tourist trade.
Closer to home Healing Little Hearts is an organisation that I have been drawn to for many years and am honoured to join the committee and to be a part of a group of individuals whose common goal is to help the most vulnerable of babies and children in the developing world and to bring some hope to their parents and families.
Healing Little Hearts is a charity very close to my heart and I am very proud and honoured to be an active committee member for over 5 years.
As a parent I feel we as are enormously fortunate to have a medical system in the form of the NHS where we are all provided with free medical care whatever our status. Sadly others around the world are not so fortunate. I feel it our humanitarian duty to give back to those children from the poorest counties/families in the world who without our support will loose their lives. Healing Little Hearts has given me the platform to for fill a role in supporting those less fortunate.
There are many great causes and charities that need support, but one where we can save a child’s life I feel is the biggest service to mankind. “Hearts that beat to the tune of kindness and generosity can change the rythem of the world”