Big hearted youngsters raise vital heart surgery funds in support of fellow student

Toby Johns (front) and his parents (right) were delighted to present a cheque to CHSF representative Holly Rawlings (back left) along with Hill House School pupils
Toby Johns (front) and his parents (right) were delighted to present a cheque to CHSF representative Holly Rawlings (back left) along with Hill House School pupils

Kind hearted students from Hill House in Auckley showed they had hearts of gold when they raised a fantastic £2,000 for the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund.

The vital funding was raised in support of Year 2 student, Toby Johns, who has been under the care of Leeds General Infirmary since he was six days old.

Toby, of Auckley, was diagnosed with Aortic Stensosis, meaning his aortic valve had not formed properly. Despite his young age, he has already had two open heart surgeries. The first, as a six-week old baby, removed his aortic valve and replaced it with the pulmonary valve, with a tube implanted to replace the pulmonary valve.

By the time he had reached three years old, Toby had outgrown this tube and undertook his second major surgery to replace it. His cardiologist and surgeon are hopeful that this tube will last until Toby is a teenager.

Toby and his family have been raising money for The Children’s Heart Surgery Fund and his classmates were keen to help.

Toby’s teacher and Hill House charity co-ordinator, Michelle Lee, said: “Toby is a wonderful character, full of energy and charisma. He is very popular among his peers and we wanted to do something to support him. The whole school got involved, from Nursery all the way through to Sixth Form, and everyone has taken Toby to their hearts. The money was raised through a ‘wear something red’ day, where the pupils changed one item of their uniform for an item of red clothing, with sweets stalls and raffles being held throughout the day.”

Michelle added: “Once the money had been counted, we wanted the children to see where the money was going to so took Toby, our Year 6 house captains and Morgan, one of our sixth formers who was heavily involved in the organisation of the fundraising, to personally deliver the cheque to Leeds General Infirmary. “Here, we learnt all about the new surgical theatre that they are building, and how the money raised allows families to stay overnight with children while they are in hospital.”

The Children’s Heart Surgery Fund was founded in 1988 and provides support for children and adults born with congenital heart disease. For more information about CHSF, including news, events and how you can get involved, visit the www.chsf.org.uk website.