Dad’s leap of faith for hospital that treats baby son’s rare heart condition
- Credit: Archant
A Paignton dad-of-three will leap into the skies to raise money for a charity which helped his family when his youngest son was born.
Seven-month-old Hendrix Washbrook has a rare heart condition and underwent his first surgery when he was only seven days old.
Dad James, 27, is preparing to do a skydive from 15,000ft to raise money for The Grand Appeal at Bristol Children's Hospital where Hendrix is being treated.
The charity helps families by entertaining children, providing financial support and accommodation to parents and entertaining siblings.
Hendrix is suffering from hypoplastic left heart syndrome which means the left side of his heart has not developed and only the right side works.
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A second operation was carried out at three months old and further surgery is planned when he is three.
Sports coach James explained: 'Essentially his heart has to be replumbed to be a single pumping ventricle heart instead of the normal two chambers.
'There is no cure and eventually he may need a transplant but some people with the condition live into their 30s.
'Developmentally he is about three months behind but he's a happy baby, very smiley. Compared to what he was like when he was born, he's completely different. The doctors have done amazing work.'
The abnormality was picked up when mum Lauren had the 20-week scan.
They were referred to Bristol Children's Hospital where the syndrome was diagnosed.
James said: 'We were aware of the condition and the path they might take and options for treatment.
'It meant we had time to think and ask questions but it's very different living it, very emotional. But you have to get on with it, you've no choice.'
Partner Lauren has ski dived before but James, who is 'petrified' of heights, decided he needed to do something out of his comfort zone.
He praised The Grand Appeal for its help which meant they were able to take siblings Lyla, seven, and Lennon, four, to an aquarium free of charge.
A Just Giving page, James Washbrook, has already raised more than £800 ahead of the skydive at Dunkeswell next month.