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Cottingley Gran urges people to sign petition fighting to keep open centre that saved grandson’s life
A campaigning grandmother has handed out hundreds of leaflets in a bid prevent the closure of a children’s heart unit which saved the life of her grandson.
Seventy-one-year-old Irene Pickles, of Roundhill Avenue, Cottingley, has been handing out the flyers encouraging local residents and parents to support The Children’s Heart Surgery Fund’s Save Our Surgery (SOS) campaign.
A national review is recommending shutting four or five of the units which perform cardiac operations on youngsters.
Four options have been put forward for public consultation but the unit at Leeds General Infirmary, which treats youngsters from across Yorkshire, including Mrs Pickles’s ten-year-old grandson Harrison Dunne, of Low Moor, only features in one of the options.
So far 250,000 people have signed a petition against the service being lost, which would mean sick youngsters instead travelling to Liverpool or Newcastle.
Mrs Pickles is now calling for people in the Bradford district to help the campaign reach its target of 500,000 names. As well as putting leaflets under windscreen wipers on cars, she has been busy contacting and visiting local primary schools to garner their support.
“I am working hard to raise the profile of the campaign,” she said.
“I am shattered but I am determined they will not close the place down – not if it is anything to do with me.”
Harrison was four months old when he was diagnosed with a rare heart condition called supraventricular tachycardia (SVT).
- Read the full story in Friday's T&A