A Harrogate teenager who has faced years of medical treatment after being born with a back to front heart has won an award for her fundraising efforts.
Isabella Cook, 15, won the child fundraiser of the year award at the prestigious Yorkshire Children of Courage Awards ceremony.
The St John Fisher student has been fundraising with her mum Patti for 10 years and has raised £140,000 for the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund.
Mum Patti said: “I was so excited for her, it was lovely to have all our friends and family there to celebrate with us.
Within days of being presented with the award at the star studded ceremony held at the Royal Armouries in Leeds Isabella met Sophie, Countess of Wessex at the opening of the Paediatric intensive care unit.
“It was really exciting for her,” said Mrs Cook.
Isabella was born with various congenital heart conditions and her heart is on the wrong side of her body meaning she hs undergone several major operations in her life, often leaving her bedridden for weeks at a time.
“This year has been very hard for Isabella. It has been a very scary time, her illness has put her in a very scary position, ”said Mrs Cook.
“But after it all to have this happen it’s wonderful.”
Isabella spent 10 and half weeks in the Leeds General Infirmary this year, with eight weeks spent in intensive care.
She underwent a complex 10 hour operation and suffered from kidney failure and had to have dialysis.
Mrs Cook said: “During those 10 weeks the doctors battled to save her life several times, the staff at the LGI are just amazing.”
The teenager is now on the road to recovery and organising the families annual Halloween Ball at the Cedar Court on October 26, which is a sell out success.
“The doctors and nurses from the hospital will come, this year after the closure and all of the criticism it seems more important than ever to support the LGI with the event,” added Mrs Cook.
“Seeing firsthand how the staff and equipment was so vital to keep Isabella alive has made us more determined to raise funds.”