When Sarah Lofthouse was 24 weeks into her pregnancy, she was given the devastating news that her unborn baby would probably not survive.
Medics diagnosed a rare and serious heart condition which meant the child was unlikely to live past birth.
But now, at 20 months old, Marty Bishop is lively and happy – and his family are hoping to raise thousands of pounds for the charity which supported them though their darkest times.
The chatty toddler is now healthy and happy. But although his heart is functioning well at the moment, his family know the condition could get worse and that the future is uncertain.
Marty suffers from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – a thickening of the heart muscle – and has to have regular check-ups at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.
Sarah, 40, of Yeadon, said: “Marty was diagnosed with a very serious and rare heart condition when I was 24 weeks pregnant. I was told he probably wouldn’t survive the pregnancy.
“It was just awful, really awful, but I was scanned every fortnight and they kept saying he is still alive, let’s keep going.
“He is 20-months-old now and is brilliant and wonderful.”
His family are now raising money for The Cardiomyopathy Association (CMA) which gave them support when they most needed it, and Sarah is planning to become a key contact counsellor for the charity.
She said: “We just wanted to give something back to CMA because they helped us feel like we weren’t the only ones going through it.
“They provide information and support for families thrown into a world of fear and unknown when dealing with a diagnosis.”
Marty’s 16-year-old sister Kimberley has already raised £610 with a skydive.
And the family will hold a fund-raising Heartbeats dinner dance at LA Fitness in Yeadon this weekend.
Sarah hopes to raise £2,000 from the event, which starts at 7.30pm on Saturday.
Marty’s brother Ryan, 12, will perform magic tricks on the night and his dad Darren’s bands Vagabond and Northern Rokk will also perform – with Kimberley on the drums.
The event includes more entertainment, a hot buffet, a disco, raffle and an auction.
A small number of tickets are still available for £12 by calling Sarah on 07951 110711 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.