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Why we’re giving back?

Anthony and Kerry explain why RVA Surveyors is supporting CLDF this year.

Although baby Oscar was jaundiced on and off from birth, it was never particularly visible when he had a midwife or heath visitor appointment. Parents, Anthony and Kerry, were convinced that something was wrong, however, so Kerry took Oscar to a weigh-in clinic without an appointment on a day when he was visibly jaundiced and also had bronchiolitis. He was sent immediately to Stepping Hill hospital in Stockport to be treated for his bronchiolitis and, whilst there, the consultant picked up on his quite severe jaundice and ordered a split bilirubin blood test. The test indicated potential liver disease, so Oscar was referred to Leeds General Infirmary for more comprehensive testing.  When he was just four weeks old, Anthony and Kerry received confirmation that Oscar had biliary atresia.

                                                                       Oscar’s parents were concerned about his jaundice

“We were told about CLDF at the time of Oscar’s diagnosis, so they have always been there to help us,” explains Anthony. “The information provided right at the start helped us to understand the gravity of what lay ahead and to also educate family and friends. Oscar underwent a Kasai procedure when he was seven weeks old but unfortunately this failed, and he were told he urgently needed a liver transplant.

“When the doctors explained that a living related donor was an option, our families were keen to help and we were incredibly fortunate that my sister, Oscar’s aunty Sophie, turned out to be a perfect match. She was living in Australia at the time but came back here to be tested and to undergo surgery. Oscar received a part of Sophie’s liver when he was seven months old. It was just an amazing thing to do. We are so grateful for what Sophie did and the fact that they both have done so well since. Oscar is now a happy, lively six-year-old and I know they will always have a unique bond.

                                                                       Oscar with his aunty Sophie just before their surgery

“Oscar’s first year of life, however, meant a lot of time spent in hospitals and whether we were in the clinic at Leeds or on the wards pre and post-transplant, Lois, CLDF families officer, always made herself available to listen and understand. When you’re in that situation just an everyday chat and a brew to offer up some normality makes such a big difference and I know other families in the hospital felt the same. The charity has been by our side since; through CLDF we have met other families in our situation and when Oscar started school, the education packs they provided helped to better manage the whole process.”

“You can’t underestimate the impact of being told that your perfect baby has a serious and life-threatening illness,” adds Kerry. “It’s hard to take and the future can seem bleak. Being able to talk to the team at CLDF who understood what I was going through meant a lot in those early months and I want every mum in that situation to have them to turn to.”

                                                              Anthony and Kerry pictured with Oscar and his sister Millie

“We’re conscious that CLDF is a small charity and since the pandemic started, we’re acutely aware of the challenges charities are facing,” continues Anthony. “So, this year, my business RVA Surveyors, is committed to fundraising for CLDF in a bid to raise £10,000. We’ve done charity fundraising before, but nothing on this scale and our team are full of ideas from walking and cycling challenges to a charity dinner and auction.

“We’re raring to go and it’s great to know that we’ll be doing something so positive not just for Oscar but for other children like him throughout the UK. So, watch this space!”

See more about RVA and their fundraising plans for CLDF here

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