Ilkley GPs get on their bikes for hospital’s children’s unit

Wharfedale Observer: Pedal to the metal: Ilkley GPs Sam Dabin (left) and Graeme Summers Pedal to the metal: Ilkley GPs Sam Dabin (left) and Graeme Summers

An Ilkley GP is to tackle a cycling challenge in aid of the Leeds children’s heart surgery unit which saved the life of his seriously-ill baby daughter.

Dr Sam Dabin will be joined by Ilkley Moor Medical Practice colleague, Dr Graeme Summers, and eight other friends and family members, on a 112-mile ride in the Yorkshire Dales this May.

He will be raising money to support the children’s heart unit which treated baby Amelie when she was found to have a rare heart condition.

When Amelie was born last September, she seemed a perfectly healthy baby, with big blue eyes, rosy cheeks and a firm grip, holding on to mum and dad’s fingers.

Eight weeks later at a routine health check, she was found to have a heart murmur. But her parents, Helen and Sam, who are both GPs, were not immediately concerned as heart murmurs are common and most are not serious.

Amelie, however, was not so lucky. She was referred for further tests and found to have a tetralogy of fallot, a serious and rare heart condition. Amelie’s parents were told she would need to have an operation to repair her heart at six months of age.

Unfortunately for Amelie, she soon began to feed with difficulty and have episodes of having bluish skin when crying. Her condition rapidly deteriorated and she was admitted to Leeds General Infirmary Paediatric Heart Unit.

Within hours of admission she was critically ill and a surgical team performed a six-hour lifesaving operation in the middle of the night. She made an excellent recovery under the vigilant care of the nurses and two weeks later was discharged home.

Dr Dabin says Amelie, now four-and-a-half-months old, is doing well.

“She’s really good, she’s put on a lot of weight and she’s recovering very well,” he said.

Amelie is expected to require a further operation when she is a teenager.

Dr Dabin said he would like to do something for the Leeds unit, which was threatened with closure last year.

Closure would have left the family with a 200-mile round trip to Newcastle or Liverpool to get Amelie vital treatment.

“I wanted to do something to give something back,” he said.

The bike ride will take place in May, starting and finishing at Threshfield, near Grassington.

Visit justgiving.com/Sam-Dabin to sponsor the bike ride.

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