London’s shopping streets, the Seven Dials, located in the heart of the West End, will celebrate Christmas Lights with a difference this December.
The normally static lights are being connected to the heart monitor of Billy, a 2-year old heart patient using innovative new technology – so that they pulse in time with his heartbeat
The activity is to help shine a light on the plight of babies and children who miss Christmas due to severe heart conditions.
Tiny Tickers, a small charity dedicated to helping improve the detection, care and treatment of babies with serious heart conditions, is highlighting that whilst everyone else is admiring the Christmas lights, many babies and young children face a very different Christmas; in hospital waiting for, or recovering from, open heart surgery.
Young Billy was diagnosed with Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA) at his mum’s 20 week scan. TGA is a condition where the two main blood vessels leaving the heart are swapped over and affects 1 in 10,000 babies. After a traumatic 13-hour operation at just 7 days old, Billy has come on in leaps and bounds.
Billy’s mum commented on the activation:
“Christmas is meant to be the happiest time of year but it’s very easy to forget that lots of families could be going through a really hard time – and sadly they don’t get to enjoy the holidays together.
I really wanted to be involved in this idea because it’s really important to keep making noise and raising awareness about heart disease – but also make people aware of the wider impact it has on families.
Thankfully we have incredible support from charities such as Tiny Tickers – but the funding doesn’t magically appear, it relies on donations from the public. So I really hope this activation encourages people to donate – even if it’s just a small amount.”