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Norwich mum says thanks to Great Ormond Street Hospital

PUBLISHED: 20:54 03 July 2011

Natasha Riches from the Brickmakers pub holding her son Tyler.  The pub are to hold a charity fundraising event for Great Ormond street hospital at the end of August. Tyler was treated at the childrens hospital when he was younger.

Natasha Riches from the Brickmakers pub holding her son Tyler. The pub are to hold a charity fundraising event for Great Ormond street hospital at the end of August. Tyler was treated at the childrens hospital when he was younger.

Archant © 2011

Tyler Palmer leads the life of an ordinary five-year-old.

He goes to Heartsease
Primary School, practises the drums on his birthday kit, and listens to the band the Kings of Leon daily.

He has no recollection – except for seeing the scar on his chest – that the first three months of his life were spent in and out of hospital battling a hole in his heart.

Now his mum, Natasha Riches, 37, of Heartsease, is organising a major event to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital, whose staff saved his life.

She says: “If you look at him now you would think nothing is wrong. We are so grateful – Great Ormond Street have given Tyler his life back. He has turned out to be such a lovely little boy, and so we wanted to give something back.”

The event at the Brickmakers pub, where his mother is a barmaid, is on August 29 and has 36 bands playing across three different stages, an acoustic tent, a bouncy castle for the children, and a bouncy boxing ring for the adults.

Everyone will be dressing up in cartoon characters or superhero outfits, with Tyler choosing Captain America.

A pink electric guitar will be auctioned, and Ms Riches will be working at the pub until 4pm, donating her wages to the cause.

“Tyler is so excited, and after the event we have been invited to go to Great Ormond Street to present the cheque, have photographs taken and Tyler will get a tour of the ward he used to be on,” she said.

Tyler’s condition was discovered seven months into her pregnancy, when Ms Riches and Stuart Palmer, Tyler’s father, were referred by doctors at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital to those at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. They were told their baby would be born with a hole in his heart.

Once Tyler was born in February 2006 the hole in his heart grew as he did, and at four weeks old the new parents rushed their new-born baby into hospital with heart failure.

Tyler remained in the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital until he was 10 weeks old, when he was transferred to Great Ormond Street children’s hospital.

By this time the hole in his heart had grown to the size of a golf ball.

At 11 weeks old he underwent a four-hour open heart operation.

Tyler’s mother said the support and care provided by the hospital was “absolutely amazing”.

A week later Tyler was released from hospital and returned to Norwich. As he began to recover, his visits to the Great Ormond Street became more infrequent, and now, finally, the hole has finally closed, leaving only a leak in the Aortic Valve remaining, his mother comparing it to a “tap dripping”, causing no additional problems.

Norfolk County Council has given a £1,000 grant and Barclays Bank has promised to match the money raised pound for pound.

Brickfest 11, from noon unitl midnight on August 29, costs £2 to enter, with all funds raised going directly to the children’s charity which is helping youngsters such as Tyler daily.

Are you raising money for charity? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk.

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