Little Lucy's a fund raising inspiration

THOSE meeting little Lucy Bluett for the first time see a vibrant, bright and healthy girl.

Laurence Cawley

THOSE meeting little Lucy Bluett for the first time see a vibrant, bright and healthy girl.

However, the parents of the plucky two-year-old know how her state can change quickly - how her lips can quickly turn blue from a lack of oxygen and how a simple head cold can be a real danger to her.

Lucy, who lives with her father Adam Bluett, mother Amanda Prentice and five-year-old sister Katie in Greenways Crescent, Bury St Edmunds, has a condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, a heart condition which is actually four heart problems rolled into one.

Lucy, who uses sign language to communicate, was first diagnosed with a heart murmur shortly after birth. It was soon realised by medical staff that her condition was more serious than a murmur, and she underwent open heart surgery operation when she was just nine months old at The Evelina Children's Hospital in London.

Her doting parents are now doing everything they can to raise awareness of congenital heart disease in children and are organising a charity Hallowe'en party to raise cash for two organisations which have helped them cope with their daughter's diagnosis - the Evelina Children's Heart Organisation and Ronald McDonald House.

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Miss Prentice described the shock of finding out her apparently healthy daughter had a serious health condition lurking within.

“I tend to prepare myself for the worst with most things in life. But I did not on this occasion - I just thought wow my beautiful baby daughter. It knocks you for six.

“One of the worst things about it is you feel so alone. I've got a wide network of heart mum friends around the world now - but most of the mums seem to live in the north of England.”

“She defies all the known things with heart children,” said Miss Prentice, speaking about Lucy's current state of health. “They are usually small, but she's big. They've usually got tiny appetites, but she likes her food. Yet she has two holes in her heart rather than one.

“Day to day, her condition is fairly easy and you can almost forget about it. But then something always jumps up and reminds you of the fact she has the condition. Sometimes she will have extremely blue lips and we've got to be very careful about swine 'flu - even a common cold can be quite dangerous. You never know what's around the corner.

“She's only had one operation so far but she will almost definitely have to have more surgery.”

Although there are no more places available at the Hallowe'en Party on October 24, those interested in giving to Lucy Bluett's two charities should contact her father by email at adambluett@talktalk.net.

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