TV star Ulrika Jonsson meets children battling congenital heart disease

15 December 2017        

Category: Fundraising

TV star Ulrika Jonsson backs the BHF's Christmas Appeal after daughter was born with congenital heart disease. 

Ulrika Jonsson visits hospital for the BHF

Ulrika Jonsson and her daughter Bo, who was born with a congenital heart defect, visited the paediatric cardiac ward at Bristol Royal Children’s Hospital to cheer up patients and raise awareness of the BHF's Christmas Appeal

Ulrika is supporting the campaign, as she was once in the same position as the parents she met on the ward. In 2000, Bo was born with a heart condition known as double inlet left ventricle, which meant she had only one working pumping chamber in her heart. Ulrika was told that in order to keep Bo alive, she would need a series of three operations, the first at just six-days-old. Bo takes medication daily and still has to be monitored. 

Ulrika also met with Professor Giovanni Biglino, a BHF-funded biomedical engineer who focuses largely on congenital heart disease. One of his projects is creating 3D models of children’s hearts to help parents understand their child’s condition and to aid surgeons. 

'Congenital heart disease doesn’t discriminate'

Ulrika Jonsson said: “Bo is a healthy and active teenager now, but I still remember being given that devastating diagnosis that she had a heart condition and would need surgery just days after she was born. 

“It was so inspiring to meet the little fighters on the ward and their families, and to hear about the fantastic research the BHF is undertaking. Their work could truly transform the lives of thousands of children, including Bo. 

“Congenital heart disease doesn’t discriminate – it can affect any child. That’s why I’m supporting the BHF’s Christmas Appeal to help the charity fund more research into congenital heart disease.”

Raising funds to help improve the lives of thousands of children

Ulrika is supporting the BHF's Christmas Appeal, which aims to raise over half a million pounds towards pioneering research into congenital heart disease. 

Amanda Bringans, Director of Fundraising added: “Sadly, many tiny hearts will be struggling this Christmas. That’s why we urgently need everyone’s support so that we can find new ways to improve survival rates and the lives of children living with a heart condition. We are delighted that Ulrika has chosen to support our Christmas Appeal after her daughter’s own battle with congenital heart disease, and the money raised will mean we can continue to fund the vital research needed to help keep tiny hearts beating.”