Chanel and family help Christmas be a merry one for heart-op children like her
A festive tradition which sees a gifts presented to families who will spend Christmas in hospital has continued – with a difference this year.
Six-year-old Chanel Murrish was diagnosed with a rare heart condition before she was born and became a record breaker when she became the youngest patient ever to undergo surgery for the complication.
Her family has worked to support others like them ever since, raising funds to help bring them comfort during their toughest times.
The youngster, along with brothers Cole, eight, Chase, 10, mum Fay, 31, and Micheal, 34, have collected cash and sought donations during the year so they can present gifts to the children’s heart ward at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.
They have usually been accompanied by a host of characters as they visited the unit on Christmas Eve, but due to this year’s pandemic, they were met at the door by one of the nurses who collected the 100 presents to quarantine before they were then passed on to families.
Some were bought with £500 raised through an entertainment nigh held at the Crow’s Nest pub in her home town of Seaham last year, and also included Heart Hero rainbow-patterned bears, which are decorated with Chanel’s Cause and have been created by The Embroidery Cabin, which is donating 10% of every sale to fund more gifts for children in 2021.
Donations were made by Chapter Two Cafe in Belmont, Tullocks Pharmacy in Sunderland, Sew Coordinated in Chester-le-Street and the author Cher Graiden.
Fay said: “I think it’s just that after this year, which has been especially hard, we wanted to make sure we could do something.
"It is always hard to he in hospital at Christmas, but we want to make it as special as we can.”
Chanel, who was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome with Intact Atrial Septum, also has cerebral palsy and deals with the ongoing impact of a stroke, with her family spending much of this year shielding.
Her story can be followed through the Facebook page Chanel Murrish HLHS.