Once upon a time, not so very long ago........

Little Leon was born with a poorly heart. This made his Mummy and Daddy sad and they decided to search for a special friend who would keep Little Leon company and look after him while he was in hospital.............

The Adventure begins..............

Monday, 28 March 2011

Little Leon does the gardening!

7 Sleeps till Gramma comes home!

Well what a busy weekend Little Leon has had.  He has helped his mummy plant strawberries, Potatoes and tomatoes!  Daddy can cook with then when they grow!

Little Leon with his strawberry planters!
On Sunday he went to visit Jess, Vicky and Mummy Heslop who cooked a lovely lunch.  Little Leon fell asleep on the way home and spent the rest of the afternoon snoozing in Daddys Arms!  That was after Daddy gently lifted a still sleepi Leon out of his chair.

Me giving Jess a hug!

Me and Daddy
Daddy Mummy and me!
Mummy being a very practical lady, has packed Little Leon a bag for the hospital just in case he gets an unexpected call to go and stay with his laydees.  That way she wont panic and forget half his toys and a warm pair of jimmy jamas!  

Little Leon loves to blog and says a BIG thank you to everyone who reads it.  Stay tuned for details of personal appearances and special hugs for the laydees! 

The Caterpillar has settled in well, but we have no lettuce so it has to eat Caramel Cake Bars!!

Friday, 25 March 2011

Little Leon to the rescue!!

 On the way home from Grammas house today, Mummy saw something green with sad eyes laying in the road.  Oh no, she nearly ran over it, whatever could it be??

Mummy stopped the car and got out to investigate.  It was the Very Hungry Caterpillar laying squashed and looking very very sad.  Perhaps a child had dropped it, or maybe it had fallen out of someone's car. Little Leon looked at the squashed Caterpillar and  because he has a kind (but badly plumbed) heart he wanted Mummy to bring it home and make it better.

Mummy gently picked up the Caterpillar, and carefully put it on the passenger seat of the car. It looked very grateful to be out of the road.

The rescued Caterpillar relieved to be safe
Mummy drove home and asked Little Leons nurse to have a look and see of they could make it better.  After checking that he could hold his breath until the spin cycle, Nurse prescribed a good wash and a long rest on the radiator.

Nursey looking after the squashed and dirty visitor!
Meanwhile Little Leon waits anxiously by  the washing machine for the cycle to finish so he can welcome the very hungry clean caterpillar to the Cot Bed Gang!

Leon waiting for the cycle to finish!
Mummy is worried that there is a little boy or girl out there missing him very much, so she is going to make an extra special effort to see who it belongs to by putting a little note in the sandwich shop window where she rescued the little chap from.

Well the cycle didnt take long to finish, after the nurse gave the Caterpillar one last check she let Leon give it a welcome hug before they both go for a much needed snooze!

Leon and a very happy Catapillar!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Little Leon visits his Laydees at the hospital

Still 12 Sleeps till Gramma!

Today Little Leon has been to visit his laydees at the hospital.  He had to take a number for an ECG, there were lots of stickers to put on his chest, he switched on his cutest smile and had the ECG lady playing  Peepo in no time!  Then he was measured and weighed, 6.35kg, woo Mummy is feeding him up well!

Then after all that attention Little Leon got to see Dr Elspeth and Dr Trinette, they did another echo to take even more pictures inside his heart.  They then invited Little Leon to go and stay with them while they repair him. But first they will talk about him in the big important meeting next Tuesday  with the surgeons and then send him a date for his stay.  He is looking forward to meeting his nursey ladies again.  Mummy promised them Home made Bonoffee Pie and buns if they take good care of him!

Mummy and Daddy are finding the whole thing quite stressing, its making Mummy a bit poorly, but Little Leon is taking it in his stride and handing out his cutest smiles to make them feel much better. They will be happy when its all over!

Little Leon is hoping Noel gets here before his stay so that he can  go to the hospital and be cute with Leon,  well two cute smiles are better than one any day!!

Little Leon hides in his blanket to avoid the paparazzi!

And so to other important matters:  There is a public meeting about keeping the Childrens Surgery Unit open on the 14th May at the Royal Armouries Leeds from  6pm to 8pm.  Little Leon is hoping to attend and support the Doctors and Nursey ladyees who are looking after him so well.

EVERYONE IS WELCOME! So if you can make it come and show your support for a much needed resource.

Later...... Little Leon plants strawberry's!

Busy Me!

12 Sleeps till other Gramma comes home from far away!

Little Leon has been to Centre Parcs for his first family holiday with Mummy, Daddy, Gramma, Grandad and Fairy Godmother Sarah.  He was pushed around in his pushchair by Grandad, Gramma took him for a Pancake (she ate it and told Leon how tasty it was!), Sarah played and played!  Mummy and Daddy....... They had a bit of a rest and even got out for a meal and an evening of vegetating in the Aqua Sana!

We played and played!

When Little Leon went to the Pancake place with Gramma, there was a Lego playden, with a HUGE Lego elephant.  Little Leon wanted Daddy to build one at home, but he said that he didn't have enough bricks!

Woo Can I have one like this?

On Sunday Little Leon took Mummy and Daddy to Nostell Priory near Wakefield.  There was a Downs Syndrome awareness and Fun Day.  Little Leon was thrilled to see  Nurse Mike from LGI.  He was asking people to sign the petition to keep the unit open.  Leon needs it, you might!  So if you havent signed it yet, please sign it for Leon and all the boys and girls who need surgery!    His cousins were there and showed Leon how to dance and sing and sign with Jo Jingles!  Mummy was very uncoordinated and made Uncle Tony and Daddy laugh at her!!

Later  Little Leon goes to the hospital......

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Little Leon becomes a little swimmer!

18 sleeps till Gramma comes home!

Little Leon loves to splash about in the bath, so his Mummy looked for a warm swimming pool where he could splish and splash about.  Puddle Ducks seemed a good place to start.  The lessons last for half an hour and Leon has  already learned to submerge, sway, splish and splash, spurt. and be safe in his mummy's arms.  They have lots of floating toys and he loves to lay on Mummy's chest and float round while she is held up by a woggle and kicks her legs!

Because Leons condition means its not good if he gets too cold he has a baby warmer made from wet suit material.  Leon recommends one to anyone who gets a bit chilled in the pool.  You look so cool!

Me looking cool in my trunks and babywarmer!
Mummy has an ulterior motive for taking Leon swimming, when he has had his operation, when his scar has healed and Dr Sam stamps his pass to go out again, swimming is good rehab for making Little Leon stronger and improving his hearts fitness. Not to mention how much fun it is!

Little Leon is taking his new found swimming skills to Centre Parcs so he can show off for his Daddy and Auntie Sarah.  This will be his very first holiday!  Gramma and Granddad are coming too!  Gramma wants a pancake and Granddad is going to take Leon riding in his pram!  Woo What fun!

Thursday, 10 March 2011

27 Sleeps......... Till Gramma comes home!

Little Leon is counting the sleeps until Gramma comes home, she lives far far away.  A bit like Princess Fiona, but without being green!    Gramma hasnt met Little Leon yet and he is looking forward to meeting her and Grandad.  She left for far far away two days before he was born!  Bad timing Gramma!

Look 27 sleeps till Gramma comes home!
Its a good thing that Little Leon has saved lots of cuddles for her and Grandad.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Noel Arrives in England.....

After a long journey from New York Noel touched down in the UK last week.  Richard looked after him very well along the way making sure he had Porridge for breakfast and as much Hunny as he wanted on the flight, and that no one sat on him by accident!

Little Noel sitting on Auntie Janets desk with his passport!

Auntie Janet is currently fostering Noel and helping him get over his jet lag and get used to living in England. She is telling him all about Little Leon and his Mummy and Daddy. Noel is looking forward to meeting Little Leon and going on lots of adventures.  Chris the Christmas bear is in charge of the cot bed gang, and is making a space for Noel to move in.  They have never met a bear from America before!

Meanwhile little Leon has had his second set of injections and was very brave.  He cried a little bit, but then, wouldn't you if someone stabbed you in the legs with a sharp needle! He has been watching Dr Mike on the television who is campaigning to keep the surgery unit open at Leeds.  Leon says please sign the petition to keep it open, so that other babies can have the same chance of getting well, just like him.

Today,  he has been to a baby led weaning talk, he is looking forward to having food with handles like broccoli so he can feed himself.  He is also looking forward to leaving a mess on Daddys kitchen floor!!!   Later he took Mummy to Costa Coffee for lunch, she is feeling very tired at the moment and he was trying to cheer her up.  It worked and Mummy made him a lovely bottle of Milky while she had her coffee. Now he is having a nap in his swingy chair!

Me snoozing in my swingy chair!
As you can see, little Leon is snuggled in his fleecy blanket.  He loves to snooze in his swingy chair. Mummy can prod it with her foot and it moves from side to side!

Next time....... Little Leon becomes a little swimmer!

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Save our Heart Surgery Unit

As a result of the NHS’s ‘Safe & Sustainable’ review of children’s heart surgery provision across the country, the Children’s Heart Surgery Unit at the Yorkshire Heart Centre in Leeds is at risk.

The unit provides specialist surgery and care to children from all over Yorkshire and the Humber.

If the unit were to close, the hundreds of children who require life-saving surgery each year would have to travel long distances – possibly hundreds of miles – to another facility. This could put those children’s lives in even greater jeopardy.


It would also cause severe distress for the patients and their families, and would see the end of a great team of specialist surgeons and experienced nurses who have worked so hard to provide unrivalled service and care.

If this were allowed to happen, it would affect not only the hundreds of families who rely on the unit each year, but everyone in the region who believesYorkshire should retain its essential healthcare services.

Please sign the petition to keep this much needed and valuable service in Leeds.


If you have any comments or questions please contact Little Leon via the comments page.

The search begins.....

While Little Leon was asleep Mummy started to search for his special friend,  while he was sleepy she looked  online , when he was awake she would take him from shop to shop.  They met lots of lovely bears, rabbits, cats, dogs and jungle animals, but none of them felt that they wanted to spend some time in a hospital.   Mummy wanted to find just the right friend to keep Leon company.

Leon has lots of lovely friends who live in his cotbed with him. But they didnt want to go into hospital either!

L-R Chris, Artha, Martha Red and Tank Top Dog from france.
Meanwhile Little Leon was growing fast, this meant that as part of his condition he looked a little bit bluer, this was because there was not enough oxygen in his blood to keep his body functioning normally, the bigger he gets, the bluer he will get. Untreated he will eventually die.    Mummy started to search on the heart websites to see what she could do to help Little Leon and came across a post from someone's Daddy who was also looking for a special friend to accompany his little girl into hospital for a similar operation.   Mummy followed the link...

Well,  after weeks of searching. There right in front of her eyes was exactly the bear she has been looking for. He has a mended heart exactly like Leon will have! This will help explain to Leon why he has a zipper shaped scar on his chest when he is older and asking questions about his operation. Mummy was so pleased, but the little bear lived in America!. How on earth was she going to get him over here?  She emailed Jenny in the shop who told her the adoption fees but getting him across the pond would be more of a challenge because she normally didn't do adoptions in other countries because the transportation fees were very high.
Mummy finds a Mended Heart Bear!

Undeterred Mummy asked for help for her friends on Facebook, maybe someone would be going to America.  Up stepped Auntie Janet.  She has a work friend who was going to visit New York on business and by a very happy coincidence Jenny and the Noel the bear were only six blocks away!  It was meant to be!  So Little Leons Mummy arranged to adopt Noel. Jenny started to sort out the adoption papers, visa and passport details, Richard received his instructions:  

On the 27th of February Noel Said his goodbyes to Jenny and his friends in the shop and was delivered to Richards hotel ,  his instructions were to feed him Hunny and Porridge and give him cuddles so he didn't feel sad he was leaving Jenny and his friends.. 

On the first of March Richard set off to the airport with Noel. Passport and visas in order, a very nervous Noel sat on the aeroplane wondering where he was going to end up.

Next time..... Noel arrives in the UK 

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Chapter One: Once upon a time....... Not so very long ago.....

Little Leon was born in December 2010, within 24 hours he had been transferred to LGI and diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot.  He spent three weeks in hospital, and his Mummy and Daddy wondered if he would be home for Christmas.  They knew that Santa would still know where he was, so he could deliver presents.  But they had been looking forward to their first family Christmas since they knew he was on his way.

The doctors gave Little Leon a last scan on the 23rd December and stamped his pass to leave. He had to visit Dr Elspeth every couple of weeks so she could check he was doing well.   Little Leon was convinced the Doctors and Nurses wanted to see him so often because he gives very good cuddles and his Mummy has been know to bake and take buns for the Nurses!

Little Leon with Daddy and Mummy visiting friends on Christmas Eve 

Mummy was very worried that Leon would be all alone in the hospital without a special friend to keep him company, so she decided to search for someone that Little Leon could rely on and who would teach him about his condition when he gets older and starts to ask why he has a zipper in his chest.

Next.........  The search begins.........