Do it for Ria

£20,740 of £25,000 goal

Raised by 167 people in 9 months
In March this year, after 3 years of grueling IVF treatments, Julian and his wife Amelia had their first baby girl, Ría. She was born at 42 weeks in Qatar, where both had been living and working - Julian in the yachting industry and Amelia for the British Council.

Ria was born with a very rare and complex heart condition, which was diagnosed 2 hours after emergency c-section birth. After nearly dying, she spent her first 3 weeks in intensive care and underwent 2 serious heart procedures to save her life. In June, Amelia took Ria to London for a second medical opinion.

Within a month Ria was admitted into The Evelina children’s hospital London and spent the next 2 months being treated in intensive care and cardiac care. Her condition had deteriorated significantly and she had to have open chest surgery, unfortunately there were complications and she nearly lost her life. She had to have an emergency operation and  2 more procedures. Thankfully, she is stable and recovering well and has started gaining weight.

Ría is too fragile to return to her family home in Qatar. Amelia is staying with her in London and carefully monitoring her at home, returning for bi-weekly check ups at the hospital. The plan is to help her grow and develop until she can have the major heart operation she needs to hopefully try and correct the problems with her heart.

Julian had to return to Qatar to work in September, leaving Ria and Amelia in London. The family had to separate as they need income to fund their stay in London while Ria is being treated. Due to Ria’s delicate state the family has realized they are potentially on borrowed time. Julian will be quitting his job in Qatar and flying back to London by end of November to be with Ria and help support her until her major heart operation next summer.

Our goal is to raise a minimum of 25,000
Euros to help support Julian, Amelia and baby Ria in the UK, keeping the family together while they face this intense period before her worrying operations next year. They need to be close to their hospital in London so will have mounting living costs over the next 12 months.
By supporting this campaign you will be ensuring Julian can stay with Ria and Amelia this coming year.. Keeping the family together is crucial for Ria (and her mum and dad) - THANK YOU!
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Hello again.. I just wanted to let you all know -as you've been so kind by supporting us -that there have been some changes to Ria's operation plan... I'd really appreciate all your thoughts, energies, prayers and love focussing on Ria for the second week of September... It really did carry us last year and she really needs love good energy and support as she faces this huge mountain ahead...

We've had the luxury of a second opinion from a very well respected French surgeon, who has recommended a different repair strategy based on his vast experience. Thankfully, our amazing team at Evelina were open and supportive enough to take on board his advice.
So as to not overload (or bore you) with details, the basics are: she will have open-heart surgery on 16th September. They will be stabilising her circulation (removing the BT shunt that is currently keeping her alive and performing the Glenn procedure) and attempting to repair her mitral valve....

We will be going into the hospital on the 9th September for important tests, these should confirm that the planned operations are safe to conduct, then on Monday the 16th (unless the tests give reason to not go ahead - which is unlikely) she will have the all day operation....

Julian is flying back from his new job in Italy on the 7th to be by her/our side.. and we hope so hard and pray with all our love and energy that it goes smoothly and there are no complications...

This new plan will create stability for Ria until she is about 3/4 years old ...

Please.. ..... I just wanted to ask you all to have Ria in your thoughts around that time - I am a true believer in the collective spirit... You've all been such amazing support to Ria so far...

thank you so much

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I just wanted to send a little update ... it’s been quiet this end which, too be honest, has taken a little getting used to... but it’s all good.. Ria is stable and is growing into a beautiful little girl.. it looks like the big operation we’ve been waiting for will not happen for a while. The hospital has printed a 3D model of her heart (amazing!) and the surgeon ideally wants her to get bigger so the donor parts he uses when repairing the heart can be bigger, thus delaying the follow on operation she will need to have to ‘upgrade’ the repair as she grows bigger..

As she is stable and seems to have settled into her new circulation (and got used to not having the bag on her tummy any more) it seems that we can wait and enjoy her this summer... massive relief...

We’ve settled nicely into our new place in Twickenham - it’s lovely being so close to family and friends - and Julian has started to look for some short term work, to make the most of this stable period, nothing permanent as we don’t want him to be too far, for obvious reasons..

I’ve attached a photo of her heart model (I’m still trying to understand it) and some recent snaps of Ria so you can see how she is doing (and how beautiful she is).

I’ll keep you all posted when things start moving again.. thank you all so much for your love and support... it’s helped us so very much

Have a lovely summer wherever you are xx lots of love from Ria and from Julian and I.
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A little bit of our joy - our rainbow warrior turning 1 in her new house
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Just to keep you all in the loop, and to thank you all over again..

Ria had her tummy operation and is now all back together again (no more poo’ing in a bag) it was a little bumpy during her recovery, with a return to intensive care for a few days as her heart settled, but she is home now, back to her smiling self and leaving mummy and daddy presents in her nappies like any other baby! (We never thought we’d love a pooey nappy so much!!!!

Oh and she has just turned 1!!!! Cannot believe it!!

We are slowly coming through the other side.. thankfully

Just wanted to say thank you for all your kind donations, we have finally moved house into our own place and we wouldn’t have been able to stay together during this tough year without your support of our campaign.

So.. we are unpacking boxes.. Ria gets her own bed now - as she is all grown up ;) and we wait for a decision by the surgeons as to whether they operate when she reaches 8 or 10kg (she is at 7.4 now). We will let you know..

This is the big one (as if the last few
months haven’t been intense enough!), so please keep sending your energy, love and prayers to our rainbow warrior
she needs it - we all do xx thank you xx
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£20,740 of £25,000 goal

Raised by 167 people in 9 months
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Megan Jones
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