The grateful gran of a brave little boy born with a heart defect who battled back from two operations before his first birthday has secured vital support for the ‘fantastic’ medical team who cared for him.
Tenacious tot Sol Brown was geared up for a tough start to life even before he made his way into world - when parents Marilyn McKay and Wess Brown, from Sea Winnings Way, South Shields, were told he had been diagnosed with Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome at their 20-week scan.
The condition means that the right side of his heart is underdeveloped and is unable to pump sufficient blood to his lungs - and can be fatal if not detected swiftly.
It set up a gruelling schedule of hospital appointments for little Sol, who had a shunt fitted under his arm at just five days old to boost the blood supply in his body and underwent hearty surgery at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital in June.
Sol, who turned one in August, is due to go under the knife again at the age of five for the third and final stage of a pre-planned procedure to tackle the condition.
His family have been so grateful for the efforts of Sol’s medical support team that they vowed to raise precious pounds for the Children’s Heart Unit Fund (CHUF).
The team at the hospital are brilliant.Janice Stott
They took part in a toddle walk in aid of CHUF this summer which boosted the charity to the tune of £200 and grandmother Janice Stott has raised £600 for the cause by holding a fundraising pub gig and persuading pals at her diet club to weigh in with help.
Mrs Stott, 57, who works as a Workspace Advisor at Jarrow Business Centre, called on pal Paul Lindsay, who plays as a drummer in two local bands, to host a gig in aid of the vital charity which brought in £400.
Fellow members of her diet club at her place of work have also happily donated prize funds earmarked for those who have shed the most pounds each week over the last six months - piling £200 onto the charity haul.
The Halloween-themed gig at The Flat Tops pub in Boldon, headlined by The Albino Crocodiles and Get Over It, proved a huge hit.
Mrs Stott said: “I want to say thanks to the bands who played for free and the pub, who set up a raffle, with proceeds going to the charity.
“The diet club has also raised around £200 over the last six months and we will keep raising money for CHUF.
“The team at the hospital are brilliant. Their care for Sol was fantastic.
“He is my grandson and I just wanted to do my bit.
“He is doing really, really well.”
For more information on the work of the children’s heart unit, visit www.chuf.org.uk.