Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Mother of heart condition girl holds charity cake sale

A MOTHER organised a charity cake sale in honour of her 12-year-old daughter who has undergone heart surgery five times.

A MOTHER organised a charity cake sale in honour of her 12-year-old daughter who has undergone heart surgery five times.

Jane Topham raised £1,000 for the British Heart Foundation at the event at her home in Mill Lane, Kidmore End, on Friday.

The sale was attended by friends and family. The special guest was Danyl Johnson, a singer who reached the semi-finals of X Factor in 2009.

Mrs Topham is married to Nik and they have three children, Isabella, 12, who has a heart condition, Finlay, 10, and seven-year-old Jenna.

She organised the event after seeing a TV advert for the charity, which featured children trying to pronounce the names of their heart conditions.

She said, “One of the little boys in the advert had exactly the same condition as my daughter’s - a ventricular septal defect - and that inspired me to do something.“ Isabella, a pupil at Gillotts School in Henley, was born with two-and-a-half chambers in her heart rather than four, which means it is difficult for her organs to receive oxygenated blood.

Since the age of 18 months, she has had three major operations and two minor ones. She has to take medicine daily and needs a check-up every six months.

Isabella’s condition was noticed during a scan when she was still in the womb. Mrs Topham said, “We thought ‘if it’s a heart problem, we can deal with that’.

“We were told she might need surgery straight after she was born but she didn’t have her first operation until she was 18 months old.

“Isabella has been amazing. She has coped with everything brilliantly and she is so well now. She has even joined the gym team at school.”

Doctors thought that Isabella would eventually need a heart transplant but now don’t believe this is necessary.

Mrs Topham said, “Because of the research done by the British Heart Foundation, she can now lead a normal life and I wanted other families to be as lucky as we have been.“ Guests at the fund-raiser wore red and brought home-made cakes with red icing and decorations. There was also a silent auction and goodie bags.

Johnson, from Arborfield, baked heart-shaped cookies. He said, “It’s a great cause and the turnout was great. Everyone made a real effort by dressing in red and making some beautiful food.”

Mrs Topham met the singer at other charity events she has organised. She said, “Danyl has been amazing. He is really good at wanting to give back and he has become a really good friend.”

Money raised at the event was doubled by Sol-Tec, the IT business where Mr and Mrs Topham work. Staff and pupils at Kidmore End Pre-School, which Isabella used to attend, raised another £77.

Last year, Mrs Topham was part a team of 15 women who took part in Walk With Me, a 26-mile walk in Moulsford, to raise £6,000 for Action Against Cancer, a charity which funds the development of cures for cancer.

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