Our Patrons

Professor of Cardiology, University of Leicester, Consultant Cardiologist Glenfield Hospital and Medical Director British Heart Foundation.

We are very fortunate to have a healthcare system in the UK – the National Health Service (NHS) – which is available to us free of charge when we most need help. Sadly, this is not the case in many of the poorest countries in the world. Nowhere is this situation more apparent when dealing with children born with congenital heart disease (CHD). Often the problem could be fixed with surgery but many thousands of babies and children suffer and die due lack of access to the right treatment. Imagine being parents holding their child in their arms and clinging onto hope that a special surgeon and medical team will make their child better.

Healing Little Hearts was set up to address this problem and has already helped to save the lives of over 1800 children. The charity sends out teams of surgeons, anaesthetists and nurses, who give their time entirely free, to go to countries and operate on babies and children with CHD, offering at least some families hope they would not otherwise have. For as little as £500 a life can be saved and transformed.

I am immensely proud to be Patron of this outstanding charity set up and run entirely voluntarily by remarkable people. I urge you to offer your support so they can continue to change the lives of even more babies and children.

Nayan Patel PHF, a Risk Management specialist with over 35 years of experience in international banking, has been appointed as a Patron of Healing Little Hearts (HLH) charity.

Nayan joins HLH’s existing Patrons working to raise awareness of the voluntary service that HLH offers as well as to highlight the massive problem of over a million children dying every year from untreated congenital heart disease in the developing parts of world.

A committed social entrepreneur and a change leader, Nayan has expertise in building strategic links between organisations and brings with him a wealth of experience to the HLH board with his background as a senior banker and as an advisor to a number of charities and organisations in the public and private sectors. A Rotarian of long standing he has been bestowed with Rotary International’s highest honour the “Service above Self” award and is also a recipient of Paul Harris Fellow in recognition of his contribution to the organisation and for his extensive charitable work in the UK and internationally.

Commenting on joining HLH, Nayan said:

“I am honoured to be a Patron this UK based international children’s charity whose volunteer doctors and nurses dedicate their time and skills to perform free life-saving surgeries on babies, children and teens suffering with congenital heart disease in some of the poorest countries of the world”.

Sarosh Zaiwalla is the Founder and Senior Partner of City of London specialist litigation and arbitration firm – Zaiwalla & Co. With over 35 years’ experience, Sarosh has been involved in over 1,200 International Energy, Maritime and Construction Arbitrations in London and worldwide either as a solicitor, Counsel, party-appointed Arbitrator or Sole Arbitrator.

Over the years Mr. Zaiwalla has been involved in over 1200 International Energy, Maritime and Construction Arbitrations in London and worldwide either as a solicitor, Counsel, party-appointed Arbitrator or Sole Arbitrator. He has acted for many prestigious clients including the President of India, China National Petroleum Corporation, Bank Mellat and NIDC of Iran and International Public Corporations..

Sarosh Zaiwalla, commented:

“I am delighted to lend my support to Healing Little Hearts as a patron, who are doing such commendable work to save the lives of children in lower- and middle-income countries. I consider being part of this organisation a great privilege.”

Baroness Verma is committed to helping children and young people and has been a Patron for Healing Little Hearts for over 5 years. Her work and contributions to the charity sector have a long history – supporting a range of organisations that raise awareness and vital funds to make a huge difference to the lives of others.

“I am so proud that this is a Leicester based charity with a global outlook, it reflects so well the strength and generosity of so many people.”

“ We are incredibly lucky to have an healthcare system in the UK – the National Health Service (NHS). Sadly, this is not the case in many of the poorest countries in the world. Hundreds and thousands of babies and children suffer and die due the lack of access to the right treatment. All of these parents hold their child in their arms and cling onto hope that a special surgeon and medical team will make their child better. Healing Little Hearts addresses this global problem and have helped save the lives of over 1500 children. So as Patron for this remarkable charity I urge you to offer your support so they can continue to change the lives of even more babies and children.”

Baroness Sandip Verma, a senior politician with over 25 years of political experience, has been a member of the House of Lords since 2006. She has served as an Opposition Minister for 6 years and as Government Minister for 8 years, in the departments for Women and Equalities, Energy and Climate Change and International Development. Baroness Verma is currently the Chair of the European External Affairs Committee, a member of the Lords EU Select Committee and recently been appointed Chairman of UN Women UK.

Born in Amritsar, she moved to Leicester at the age of 10 and currently resides in London. She has been married for 40 years to Ashok Verma and both have a son and daughter.

Our Ambassadors

Mehmooda Duke is the CEO of Moosa – Duke Solicitors which she set up in 2003. Mehmooda has over 25 years’ experience in dealing with medical negligence claims; the first 10 years were spent defending health professionals and for the last 16 years she has acted for victims of the NHS and GPs.

She was appointed President of Leicestershire Law Society in May 2015, the first Asian female in the Society’s 155 year history to hold this position. She became the public face of the organisation and steered the strategic direction of the Society. Since May 2017, she has been the Executive Board Chair and still holds this position.

She is the first female in the Clubs history to sit on the Board of Leicestershire County Cricket Club. Mehmooda sits on the Governing Council of the University of Leicester.

Mehmooda was awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours List 2019 for services to the Legal Profession and female entrepreneurship.

Mehmooda is passionate about a number of charities, one being Healing Little Hearts for which she is an ambassador. She went to India in March to see the work that the charity does and her 2018 challenge – climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for ‘Healing Little Hearts’ was completed on 21 October raising over £30,000 and continuing. She enjoys walking in the Peak District and taking people with her! She has organised five 10 mile charity walks for local lawyers and business people and done two 10K runs. 

Sunil ‘Sunny’ Gavaskar born 10 July 1949 is a former Indian international cricketer who played from the early 1970s to late 1980s for the Bombay cricket team and Indian national team.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest Test batsmen and best opening batsmen in Test cricket history, he set world records during his career for the most Test runs and most Test centuries scored by any batsman. He held the record of 34 Test centuries for almost two decades before it was broken by Sachin Tendulkar in December 2005. He was the first person to score centuries in both innings of a Test match three times. He was the first Test batsman to score 10,000 Test Runs in a Career and now stands at number 12 on the group of 13 players with 10,000+ Test Runs.

On 1st October 2016, Sunil Gavaskar was guest speaker at a charity ball held for Healing Little Hearts. It was hosted by the British Association of Indian Anaesthetists at Leeds Royal Armouries. During the evening our Founder Dr Sanjiv Nichani gave a presentation after which Sunil offered to be our ambassador as he was so moved by the humanitarian work of our charity.