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11 June 2018

Lasting impact of Bristol Royal Hospital for Children inspires fundraising 30 years on

Luke Harris

A local bus driver will be cycling 80 miles to raise money for Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, almost 30 years after his wife underwent a life-saving

Swapping four wheels for two, Luke Harris is taking on the Bike Bath 80 mile route on 1st July, to say thank you to the hospital and also to help ensure children can continue to receive outstanding treatment for years to come. procedure there.

Luke decided the fundraise for Bristol children's hospital charity, The Grand Appeal, after finding out more about the role the hospital played in his wife's care as a child.

"Laura was born with a hole in her heart," he explains. "When she was 18 months old, she was able to undergo a coronary angioplasty which uses a balloon to stretch open a narrowed artery.

"Both as a child at Bristol children's hospital, and an adult at the Bristol Heart Institute, the care Laura has received is amazing and all the medical teams I've met have been fantastic.

"Having volunteered with ambulance services in the past, I know how hard NHS staff work. I want to be able to support the hospital to help children make their journey through life.

"I set myself the initial goal of raising £500. Amazingly I've been able to raise over five times that much, and I'm now aiming to make it £5000!"

Zoe Trotman, the ward sister on Dolphin Ward at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, which looks after children with heart conditions, said:

"It's amazing to hear that Luke wants to raise this money for our hospital, years after a loved one was treated here. It shows the lasting impact that the NHS can have on people, which is all the more special when we're celebrating its 70th anniversary.

"Bristol Royal Hospital for Children is the regional centre for the Congenital Heart Disease Network South West and South Wales service, providing comprehensive cardiology and cardiac surgical care for children and young adults up to 18 years of age. Many of the patients we care for will have been diagnosed before or at birth and will require ongoing treatment and care into adulthood. 

Luke and Laura Harris

"By supporting The Grand Appeal, Luke will help us to continue giving holistic, family centred care within a safe and child friendly environment. It allows us to do those extra things that will make a child's stay less frightening and a little more fun."

Kate Jones, Senior Community Fundraiser at The Grand Appeal said: "What Luke is taking on is no mean feat and it's a real testament to his determination to give back for the treatment his wife received all those years ago.

"The support he has received so far has been amazing, and he quickly surpassed his initial target.

"The money that he has raised will help future generations to receive the best possible care, funding world class facilities, pioneering medical equipment as well as patient and family comforts.

"A huge good luck to Luke from all of the team here at The Grand Appeal - we will be cheering him on all the way!"

If you wish to sponsor Luke, please visit: