CHESTERFIELD: Mum celebrates heart unit victory
One year after her newborn son had open heart surgery a mum is celebrating a victory which may see the unit which treated him saved.
At just hours old Rio Rutter was rushed to Leeds Children’s Heart Surgery Unit where cardiologists diagnosed a rare congenital heart defect.
He was then taken to Royal Brompton Hospital in London for grueling three hour surgery which saved his life.
This week - which marks Rio’s first birthday and the anniversary of his surgery - has also seen campaigners win a High Court challenge against plans to axe the heart unit.
Mum Kersha Rutter, 19, of Stonegravels, said if Rio had not been diagnosed at Leeds he would not have survived.
She added: “It feels like a family. The doctors and nurses are just so understanding and caring.
“The reason I think it should be saved is because they have got a gold standard of care and to me to seems unreasonable to shut down a unit which offers such a high standard of care.”
Save Our Surgery (SOS), which is trying to stop the closure of the heart unit argued the consultation process leading up to the changes was “unfair and procedurally flawed”.
Kersha joined SOS during their protests and this week a judge sitting at London’s High Court, ruled in favour of the campaigners - but the future of the unit will be decided at a later date.
If the unit was to close patients would have to travel to Newcastle or Liverpool for surgery.
Kersha said: “I’m really happy for all the campaigners that finally their voices have been heard. The decision to close it needs to be looked in to further.
“To travel futher to Newcastle could be the difference between life and death.”
Rio has defied doctors who said his development would be delayed and is now a healthy and happy one-year-old.
But Kersha has been warned he may struggle with physical activity as he gets older and could need a heart transplant.
She said: “It was the worse time of my life when I found out he was ill. It was such a shock as I had no idea anything was wrong with him.
“I’m so proud of what he has achieved after everything he has been through.”
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Monday 20 May 2013
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