A heart-felt walk for baby Jake

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The parents of a baby with a very rare heart defect are planning a walk on the wild side to help raise funds for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

Claire and Neil Cathcart are doing a 3k sponsored walk around Knowsley Safari Park for the hospital which treats their 10-month-old son, Jake, who has a complex cardio arrythmia.

It can be fatal - he has already had a cardiac arrest when he was one month old

Claire Cathcart

He has been admitted to Alder Hey hospital five times in his short little life and is currently on the waiting list for a biventricular pacemaker. If that doesn’t work, he may have to undergo a heart transplant.

Clare, 35, of Sutton, said: “Jake was born with an irregular and very fast heartbeat, which is very rare. He was even flown to Great Ormond Street Hospital in a helicopter for second opinion and no-one there had ever seen anything like it.

“You can tell when he has his babygrow off that he is working hard with his breathing. It can be fatal - he has already had a cardiac arrest when he was one month old. Luckily he was already at Alder Hey for a check up, so he was in the right place.

“We are very worried about him - we get no warning. At one point his heart rate was 300 beats per minute.

“At the moment he is being treated with anti-arrythmia medication. He is on a waiting list of up to six weeks for a biventricular pacemaker. It is very rare for a baby to have this, as he would have to have open heart surgery and there is no guarantee this would work.

“Failing that he would need a heart transplant.”

To help raise funds Claire and Neil are asking for sponsors for the safari walk on May 22.

Claire added: “It is the day before Jake’s birthday so we will hold a party afterwards. We want to raise as much as possible as Alder Hey Children’s Hospital has done so much for us,”

Claire has also set up a Facebook page - The Adventures of Baby Jake - to keep people up to date with his progress.

She said: “I wanted to keep people informed of how Jake was doing and also to help any other parents who have a baby with Jake’s condition.

“They can retrace Jake’s steps and maybe get some advice and ideas on what works best for their child.

“It is also nice to see the happier side of the story. He is such a happy baby and he adores the nurses at Alder Hey.”

To sponsor Claire and Neil visit www.justgiving.com/Theadventuresofbabyjake