Elliott's heart day in Stevenage to bring families together
PUBLISHED: 16:58 16 September 2018
A Stevenage mum has arranged a special heart day celebration for her son who needed life support and open-heart surgery as a newborn.
Kerry Mitchell, along with close friend Leigh Smith and The VIP Event Agency, have been organising a family fun day at Barnwell School to put seven-year-old Elliott at ease and to raise money for the hospital unit that saved his life.
Elliott was born with tetralogy of Fallot – a heart condition that causes the valves in his heart to leak due to a ventricular defect.
Since his life-saving operation, events organiser Kerry has been raising money for the Brompton Fountain children’s charity which supports Royal Brompton Hospital’s heart unit in Chelsea.
Kerry told the Comet: “In the ‘cardiac world’ a person’s heart day marks the day they had their operation.
“Every year around this time Elliott has to have his heart check up, and every year the doctors talk to us about his operation. He’s been really nervous, anxious and upset, so we decided to make his heart day fun.
“Since putting the word out, people have been asking ‘can we come along’, offering to do face painting and have stalls, and it’s now going to be a big fun day.
“I thought instead of just doing this for Elliott we could get the charity involved and make it an event for local families to come along.
“We are trying to raise as much as we can for the hospital. There are so many families in Stevenage that are looked after by this charity but they don’t really know each other.
“They might not be aware that there are charities out there that can support them.”
The event – held from 11am to 3pm on Sunday, September 23 – will be a surprise for Elliott and older brother Luke, who are both big fans of bikes and super cars.
To that end, there will be cars and bikes on show to look around, as well as prison vans, blood bikers, go karts, ambulance and fire engines.
Other attractions include inflatables, games, food stalls, crafts stalls and treats. Carl Dawson from Soundview Studios will also present live music from Shannon Gorton, Shaun Clarke, Sylvian and Urban Myth.
Councillors Doug Bainbridge and Matthew Hurst have been supporting the event, which will be opened by Stevenage mayor Margaret Notley.