Heart patient’s big ‘thank you’

Rachel Wood from Crofton. Born with a heart defect, Rachel, now 31 years old, nearly died during 2012 due to her heart condition, organised a charity event held at St Joseph's church, Crofton, in aid of the region's heart unit.'w312a330
Rachel Wood from Crofton. Born with a heart defect, Rachel, now 31 years old, nearly died during 2012 due to her heart condition, organised a charity event held at St Joseph's church, Crofton, in aid of the region's heart unit.'w312a330

Medical staff have saved Rachel Wood’s life on more than one occasion in the past 32 years after she was born with a serious heart defect.

Now she is working to say ‘thank you’ and help others by raising money for the region’s only specialist heart unit at Leeds General Infirmary.

Her Hearty Family Fun Day, at St Joseph’s Church in Crofton last Sunday, was her first fundraiser and it raised £1,350 for the hospital’s Take Heart charity and the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund.

Miss Wood was just nine days old when she had to undergo lifesaving surgery because she was born with her major heart vessels the wrong way round.

Last summer, she became seriously ill again with a heart infection and spent three months at the LGI receiving intensive and specialist care.

As well as fundraising, the civil servant, campaigned to keep the heart unit open when it was threatened with closure, and has donated books and DVDs to the Coronary Care Unit.

She added: “I’ll never be able to fully repay all the people that helped me recover, but this family fun day was my way of saying thank you and giving a little something back.

“I was really pleased with how well supported the event was. We had a great turnout and lovely weather.”

For more information about the charities being supported by Miss Wood, visit www.takeheart.net or www.chsf.org.uk/about-chsf