Hannah and James Schofield’s son, Wilfred was born as a seemingly happy and healthy baby boy. It wasn’t until the standard paediatric check-up, 24 hours after he was born that a heart murmur was detected, and they were told they needed to do a few more checks.

Although Hannah wasn’t worried, everything changed in a matter of minutes. The senior paediatric consultant at St Mary’s announced that Wilfred needed to go to PICU (paediatric intensive care unit) straight away, when Wilfred arrived in PICU the team told Hannah that they needed a cardiologist and that they would contact Royal Brompton.

Royal Brompton consultant, Dr Naqvi, arrived at St Mary’s where Wilfred had an echocardiogram (echo), Hannah and James were told that Wilfred had major heart defects - Tetralogy of Fallot and Pulmonary Atresia, major surgery was the only option for Wilfred to lead a normal life.

Wilfred was blue lighted to Royal Brompton. James travelled with Wilfred and Hannah would join him the next day. Over the course of three days Wilfred had several echo’s and x-rays and it was decided by Professor Fraisse that they would try a catheter to see if they could open the blockage between his right ventricle and pulmonary artery. Unfortunately, this was unsuccessful, and Wilfred was rushed off for emergency open heart surgery two hours later. Dr Michielon led the surgery where they performed a right ventricle to pulmonary artery conduit. The surgery went well, and Wilfred returned to PICU to recover with his chest open. After three weeks at Royal Brompton Wilfred was allowed home.

For the next 7 months Wilfred had monthly and then eventually bi-monthly check-ups. Wilfred went for his second open heart surgery at 8 months old to close a hole in his heart and to replace the conduit. After 8 hours Wilfred was back from surgery, this time with his chest closed and looking as ‘pink as a rose’ in Dr Michielon’s words.

Since then, Wilfred has had 2 more balloon catheters with Professor Fraisse, and both Hannah and James are hoping that 2021 will be the year of no surgical intervention.

Because of the Brompton we have our beautiful son, and Henry has his little brother. Thank you will never be enough – Hannah Schofield

We've embarked on a huge appeal to raise £500,000 to provide Royal Brompton with state-of-the-art imaging equipment for the cath lab where Wilfred had his balloon catheters.  You can help more families like the Schofields stay together by donating to our Life in Focus Appeal.

Learn more about the Life In Focus Appeal