The mother of a Harrogate teen born with a back to front heart has spoken out in support of the Leeds General Infirmary as children’s heart surgery is restarted.
Patricia Cook whose daughter Isabella who turns 15 today (Thursday April 11) said she couldn’t fault the hospitals children’s heart surgery unit which was suspended two weeks ago.
“If she had to go somewhere else I don’t know if she would have made it.
“The staff are incredible. The surgeons who have dealt with Isabella have shown 110 per cent commitment and dedication.
“They have stayed in touch with her progress every step of the way, phoning before they go to bed at night and even calling from holiday to see how she is.”
Isabella who had her first surgery at the LGI when she was just a baby has been in the hospital since an operation seven weeks ago.
Ms Cook said: “It was a really complex operation and it went amazingly.”
Surgery at the Leeds General Infirmary unit restarted on Wednesday April 10 after a two week suspension.
NHS bosses said they had been given data suggesting higher than expected death rates however campaign groups, doctors and MPs have questioned this data.
MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough, Andrew Jones said: “The doctors challenged the use of the data on the basis that it was neither complete nor credible to use it to stand up a case for suspension on safety grounds.
“This begs the question why immediate verification checks were not carried out before the NHS acted to suspend surgery at the Unit.
NHS England said a review had assured them of the quality of surgery and staffing so operations could resume, on a phased basis.
Ms Cook said: “I think it is disgusting that surgery was suspended.
“Lives have been put at risk, why would you take a chance on peoples lives?”
The government has rejected calls for an inquiry into the suspension.
Councillors heard at a meeting yesterday (April 10) that 10 children were treated up to 120 miles away while surgery was suspended in Leeds.
Six children travelled to Leicester with the others to Birmingham, Alder Hey in Liverpool and to Newcastle for treatment.
John Illingworth, chairman of the Yorkshire and Humberside Joint Health Scrutiny Overview Committee said: “Distances like that are hard enough when you’re in good health.”
Isabella will be celebrating her 15th birthday with her family and staff at the hospital today.
She said: “The nurses have bought her presents and sorted a party for her birthday.”