A MOTHER whose 18-month-old toddler was rushed to hospital with heart failure has praised the doctors whose quick-thinking actions saved his life - after his symptoms showed just days before Christmas.

Finley Pattison-Linighan, from Monk Bretton, was urgently transferred from Sheffield Children’s Hospital to the Leeds Congenital Heart Unit on December 20.

Medics soon discovered he had been living with an undiagnosed heart disease and, alongside his mother Daniella, stayed in hospital for Christmas and saw in the new year before the youngster underwent surgery on January 3.

Daniella said: “Our lives were turned upside when we found out our 18-month-old was in heart failure and had been living with a congenital heart disease.

“On December 20 we were transferred in an ambulance to Leeds.

“Finley was too ill at first to have surgery, so we spent Christmas and new year in hospital until he was able to have urgent surgery.

“After a few complications in surgery and a scary couple of days, Finley went from strength to strength.

“We spent almost a month in hospital but we are now home - he is my superhero.

“It’s been one of the hardest times of our lives, but we have so much to be thankful for.”

Daniella spoke out in time for the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund’s ‘wear red’ scheme which takes place today and sees thousands of people across the country whose lives have been impacted by heart disease raise cash.

CHSF support the Leeds Congenital Heart Unit with life-saving medical equipment and ward facilities, emotional, financial and practical support for affected families and essential staff training and research into congenital heart disease.

Their support also covers 19 regional clinics specialising in the disease, including one in Barnsley and a congenital cardiac nurse specialist housed in Sheffield.

Congenital heart disease is one of the most common types of birth defect, affecting almost one in 100 babies born in the UK.

Symptoms include a rapid heartbeat, fast breathing and extreme tiredness.

Surgery or interventional procedures are usually required if the defect is significant and causing problems - as was the case with Finley - although modern surgical techniques can often restore most or all of the heart’s normal functions.

“Both Sheffield Hospital and Leeds Children’s Hospital who saved our little boy’s life, and this amazing charity, the Children’s Heart Surgery, have been there from the start,” Daniella added.

“CHSF were initially just an amazingly supportive, friendly face - checking in daily and making sure we were okay.

“They were then able to offer us food vouchers and some financial support.

“Finley received a certificate, medal and of course the famous Katie Bear after his heart surgery.

“Although he won’t understand what they mean now we will continue to tell him how they represent his amazing bravery and what he had to overcome.”