Rotherham families battle to save heart unit

By Michael Upton | 25/03/2011 4 comments

Rotherham families battle to save heart unit

WORRIED Rotherham mums and dads are urging other families to back their fight to keep a lifesaving children's heart unit open.

Yorkshire's only dedicated centre for under-18s, the Leeds Children’s Heart Unit, is due for the axe to save around £500,000.

Young Rotherham heart patients Zander Symms and Joshua Coupe are just two of the children helped by the unit and would face a trek to units in either Newcastle or Livepool if the Leeds unit closes.

They are now calling for Rotherham residents to back them in their bid to collect 250,000 names on a petition against the move, warning that losing the facility would be a blow for everyone.

Joshua, aged 3, suffers from lupus and has had a pacemaker fitted.

His mum Dawn, of Haighmoor Way, Swallownest, said that the Leeds unit had provided a vital service, adding: “The argument is that having expertise more concentrated in certain places will make operations safer but I know I am happy to put my little boy’s life in the hands of the staff at Leeds.

“It will be a huge inconvenience for the families of some kids as they will not be able to go for treatment and go home the same day.

“But on top of that, some children have conditions where they need urgent treatment and it is reassuring that Leeds is not that far away. We’re in danger of losing that.”

Zander’s mum, Cassie, branded the decision “crazy” and said that it would leave many children’s lives in limbo.

Cassie, who lives in Dinnington, said: “I would urge everyone to sign the petition. They can find heart defects later in life—you never know if you or someone you know might need this unit one day.”

A final decision will be made in July about whether to close the unit in the autumn.

You can sign the petition at



  • Children with CHD need to have a specialist anethetist because there is a high risk these will be at the surgical centres. minor procedures wont be done at local centres. I once broke my wrist and having it K wired was so high risk that no unit would accept me except the children's heart surgery unit in Leeds. Minor procedure = major deal sorry but CANT be done at leeds once the surgery services close it will pose to high of a risk to children's life if anything goes wrong x

    pinklittlekimmie. Tue 28 Jun 18:26:28.

  • Getyourfacts straight id suggest u read your own name. The majority of 'simple' procedures HAVE to be carried out at surgery centres because children with CHD carry such a high risk . All these procedures need to be done where there is a trained individual there to step in if things go wrong. The majority of children with CHD cant even have their ears pierced because of the risk to their heart that should give you an idea of how even the simplest procedure is such a high risk to a CHD child x

    pinklittlekimmie. Tue 28 Jun 18:18:41.

  • Its NOT about cuts. You may be prepared to put your lives in their hands as we all are. but when your surgeon retires there will be no one to take over as they arent trained. treatment that will be given that you can go home the same day will NOT be surgical and therefore will still continue to be given at your cardiology centre in leeds that WILL REMAIN... only the surgery will be moved.

    getyourfactsstraight. Fri 25 Mar 22:46:52.

  • what a load of rubbish had you bothered to research the article properly as a reporter you would know that the above is not true.

    getyourfactsstraight. Fri 25 Mar 22:36:39.

Please login or register to enter your message click here

The fact you are here means you are interested in what goes on in your town.

We want to continue holding local authorities to account, attending court and council meetings, as well as providing breaking news, competitions and offers – but it costs money. Online advertising does not cover costs, therefore we feel the need to ask for your help in ensuring we can provide the best possible coverage, online and in our printed products.
For as little as £1, you can support the Rotherham Advertiser – and it only takes a minute.
Click here to support local news.

Spotted something we should know about?

Call our Newsdesk on 01709 768146
Or email
Message us on Facebook