A proud father has smashed his fundraising total to rebuild a play area at the hospital which saved his son’s life.
On January 11, 2009, Ivan Hollingsworth and his wife Nadine’s son Seb was born with a congenital heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot.
Seb, who will turn five on Saturday, was given lifesaving surgery, and in September 2009 Ivan started to raise money for CHUF (Children’s Heart Unit Fund) at the Freeman Hospital, with the aim of reaching £333,000 to rebuild the playroom attached to Ward 23, and develop the outside play area.
Ivan said: “Four years and four months after we raised our first few pounds for CHUF we have hit this huge target – almost exactly five years after Seb was born.
“Whether you have run, swam, cycled, baked, sold raffle tickets, attended one of our charity balls, driven a support car or donated some money, you have the right to feel incredibly proud of yourself.
“At some point in the next few years Seb will undergo further open heart surgery, and he is unlikely to understand what this will involve or why he is so poorly; all he will want to do is play with his friends.
“The rebuilding of the playroom and outside play area will bring a smile to Seb’s face and so many others like him.
“So, as parents who will directly benefit from this, we want to say a huge thank you to everyone for supporting us over the last four years and helping to put a smile on so many poorly children’s lives.”
Ivan, who is now a trustee of CHUF, said reaching the target does not mean he will be putting his feet up, and he intends to continue fundraising.
Plans for a C2C5 and a summer ball are already under way for this July.
Building work should start on the playroom in the next month.