Mother to raise money for charity with five stone weight loss goal

A grateful mum, whose daughter underwent major heart surgery just before her second birthday, has set herself a weight loss challenge to raise money for The Sick Children’s Trust, a charity that supported her family during this time.

Caroline Wilkinson, 33, from Stockton-on-Tees, and her husband, Paul, 44, were shocked to discover their daughter, Abigail, had a heart murmur at her first baby check, only a month after she was born in July 2015. Abigail was referred to North Tees Hospital in Stockton where her worried parents were sat down by the consultant and told their baby had heart conditions called atrial septal defect (ASD) and pulmonary stenosis (PS), and it was likely she would need corrective open heart surgery once she was older. She was referred on to paediatric cardiologist, Doctor Crossland, at Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, and over the next 20 months her condition was closely monitored by a specialist every 90 days.

Mum, Caroline, a Human Resources Manager, says:

“When the specialist diagnosed Abby, they told us that ASD meant there was a hole in the wall separating the top two chambers of her heart and that oxygen-rich blood was leaking into the oxygen-poor blood. Additionally, the PS meant her pulmonary valve was too narrow, which explained why she had been so unsettled and found feeding difficult. Although we were very worried, the specialist reassured us that we needed to wait until Abby was bigger and stronger, before they could operate.”

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