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RVH Department Closure? Ollie’s Story…

One of  ToddlerSoccer.Org's newest recruits is Ollie Boyd Millar aged 2 and a half years.  Like any other child of that age, Ollie loves to race his friends to the ball, tackle & score goals.  However, Ollie's start in life was not like that of the majority of children who attend our Soccer School.  He was born with a congenital heart defect named Transposition of the Great Arteries, his aorta & pulmonary arteries grew reversed.  Ollie had surgery a matter of hours after he was born & at ten days old, underwent open heart surgery.

 

Young Ollie at Toddler Soccer last week

Nearly three years on & Ollie is a walking testament to the skills & dedication of the surgical team at The Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.  It is hardly surprising that the parents of children with heart defects in Northern Ireland are outraged following the publication of the Safe & Sustainable Review into pediatric congenital heart services in Northern Ireland which stated these very services that Ollie benefited from are SAFE, but not sustainable.  In essence, this report signals the closure of the Belfast service.  Removing this surgery from Belfast will mean that very ill babies, children & their families will be forced to travel hundreds of miles for specialist treatment as well as surgery.  This is why the local service must be retained...and we need your help to ensure this happens.

Coach Tim and ToddlerSoccer.Org supports 'The Children's Heartbeat Trust' in their campaign to keep this service.  The Charities Executive Director, Sarah Quinlan says, “We are calling on Minister Edwin Poots to ensure the continued provision of heart surgery for babies & children at The Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children in Belfast.  This is the time for local Ministers to take local decisions & resist a ‘one size fits all’ UK approach.  Our overriding position is that it is imperative that children’s heart surgery continues to be delivered at the hospital in Belfast.  There are options available which can safeguard the provision of heart surgery for children & babies in Northern Ireland, such as an all-Ireland network which retains a service in Belfast." 

Bottom line, we need to ensure that the Health Minister, Mr Edwin Poots realises how important this service is to the children of Northern Ireland.  There is a link below which will take you direct to 'The Children's Heartbeat Trust' website, here you can sign their e-petition & print a template letter which can be sent to your local politicians. Please, please take two minutes out of your day to ensure that the children of this country are not discriminated against because of where they are born.
 
Thanks in advance,
 
Coach Tim
 
 
P.S. If you want to see the journey that Ollie & his parents took after his birth click here to watch their video.  With 3 kids of my own I was moved watching this - you will too.  Please sign the petition & get as many of your family & friends to do the same.  Share my blog post on Facebook & Twitter to raise awareness. 
 
P.P.S. It could be your child, grand child, niece, nephew, friend that requires urgent surgery...don't ignore, click here now!

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