Defib gift for Colne tot with heart condition

Kelly Snowden and Felix Kershaw receive a defibrillator from the Hand on Heart charity at the Royal Blackburn Hospital. (S)
Kelly Snowden and Felix Kershaw receive a defibrillator from the Hand on Heart charity at the Royal Blackburn Hospital. (S)

A Colne mum has praised a charity for providing a defibrillator after her baby boy survived a heart attack against the odds two days before his first birthday.

Felix Kershaw had to be given CPR by his dad, Ben, before paramedics arrived and shocked the tot’s heart three times to restore a normal heart rhythm.

We as parents feel Felix is incredibly lucky to have survived a cardiac arrest but fear he may not survive another

Mum

He had been found floppy, pale and lifeless in his cot by his parents after crying out and was then rushed to hospital on December 28th.

The little fighter has battled back from the brink, however, but has been diagnosed with a heart condition.

His mum Kelly Snowden has praised the charity Hand on Heart for helping provide a defibrillator for him in case the horrifying situation arises again.

Kelly said: “I just wanted to say thank you to everyone at Hand on Heart for helping our family, especially as this is the first time you have been able to help on an individual basis.”

Writing on the Just Giving page set up to raise money for Hand on Heart for their donation, Kelly added: “We as parents feel Felix is incredibly lucky to have survived a cardiac arrest but fear he may not survive another.

“By providing us with a defibrillator for Felix, with the support of Janet Jackson (fund-raiser), the Hand on Heart Charity have given us some reassurance now he has been discharged from hospital.”

Initially, Felix was put in an induced coma and spent a week in intensive care at Manchester Children’s Hospital after the cardiac arrest.

He has since been diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome and has received care from Dr Mark Hall, an electrophysiologist at Alder Hey Children’s hospital.

Felix is now on a number of medications as he is too young for the catheter ablation surgery required.

An internal heart monitor has been put into Felix’s chest amid concerns about the rarity of Felix’s condition and possibility of other undiagnosed factors contributing to his cardiac arrest.

Felix has also experienced some brain damage as a result of his cardiac arrest.

He is currently in Blackburn Hospital receiving neuro-physiotherapy.

He will also need ongoing physiotherapy and speech and language therapy, although his most recent scan has shown some improvement.

Felix’s grandad Chris Snowden said: “I would just like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for donating a defibrillator to my daughter and son in law on behalf of my grandson.

“I understand that most of your donations go towards schools but what you did for my grandson is amazing and fantastic.”

Hand on Heart delivered the defibrillator to Kelly and Felix at Blackburn Hospital after one of the charity’s leading fund-raisers, Janet Jackson, donated £500.

She lost her son Nic (26) in 2013 from a cardiac arrest and felt compelled to help. Nic had shown no symptoms anything was wrong and no health complaints of any kind prior to his death.

Janet said: “We are so pleased to help support baby Felix and his family. Mike, Aimee and Ollie are pleased to be supporting an actual life. It seems more personal somehow.”

The charity provided the additional funds for the defibrillator.

Hand on Heart chief executive Victoria Burrows added: “With Janet’s generosity, Hand on Heart were thrilled to be able to help Felix.

“Hand on Heart has been able to facilitate one family to support another, which is wonderful to see.”

The Just Giving page set up by Kelly and Ben to raise funds for Hand on Heart can be found at https://www.justgiving.com/Kelly-Snowden/