Staff and pupils at Thornhill Community Academy proved they’re all heart as they welcomed a very special future pupil.
Heart patient Georgia Ling was welcomed to the school as they took part in Wear Red Day – which supports the Leeds Children’s Heart Surgery Fund.
Georgia had to fight for her life soon after she was born with a rare combination of heart and abdominal defects.
She and her family moved from Dewsbury to Leeds to be closer to the hospital after Georgia was born. She has undergone many operations, including heart surgery, and will need more in the future.
But the family moved back to Thornhill Edge two years ago and eight-year-old Georgia, who goes to Thornhill J&I School, looked full of happiness as she met Katie Bear, the heart surgery charity’s mascot, and looked around her future school on Friday.
Georgia’s mum Rachel attended the school and her mum Jean Skidmore is still a part-time member of staff. Rachel said: “I went to the same junior school as Georgia as well and it’s really nice that she’ll be going to Thornhill.
“All the staff have known her from when she was born.
“They were all really happy to see her up and about and doing so well. I know they’ll all look after her.”
The academy has been raising money for the heart surgery fund since Georgia was born, as head of Year 7 Mrs Marsden is a friend of the family. Staff and pupils wore red and sold red goodies to raise £413 for the fund and were visited by Katie Bear and Sharon Cheng, director of the charity.
Rachel said: “We take every day as it comes with Georgia but at the minute she’s doing really well. She loved meeting Katie Bear.”
Thornhill was among more than 100 schools throughout Leeds and beyond who joined the second Wear Red Day as well as offices, shops and other organisations.
Head teacher Jonny Mitchell said: “We are delighted to support such a deserving charity and know all the funds raised will make a massive difference for many families.”
Last year cash raised went towards a campaign to overturn the decision to end children’s heart surgery in Leeds, and this year the proceeds will be spent on projects for patients at the LGI unit.