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..............

Sunday, 8 December 2013

A big Weekend and A Great Man Retires!

Well, after a fab birthday with loads of super presents, Little Leon decided he better take Mummy & daddy out today, So he packed up the Moo's, Mini Moos, Mama Moo, Not a cow, and headed into the big City of Leeds.  He took mummy a daddy for a coffee, He likes his mini Cappuccinos!

Of Course you can;t have coffee without cake, so, cake was had! and it was yummy!

Now as luck happens, just outside the coffee shop the wonderful Ruby Macintosh was performing some quite simply splendid christmas songs, Little Leon has decided he likes Ruby, which is good because daddy does too! He says you should check out her website and buy her new album! http://www.rubymacintosh.com/

Ruby Macintosh, live at the Hop!

After to coffee it was on the the main order of the days entertainment, The CHSF Christmas Carol Concert which was combined with a celebration of the retirement of Mr Kevin Watterson.

The concert itself was a fine affair, various choirs assembled and gave us some cracking entertainment, probably the highlight being the Snowflakes signing choir. This was co-ordinated by one of Leons heart Buddies Lyall's mummies, As the name suggests it was a combination of signing and singing by a group of children that all face their own challenges, and I dare say there were a few tears shed during their performance.

Now, I often despair in the youth of today, they don't often get good press and, to be honest they don't help themselves a lot of the time, but, today, 3 young people helped restore some of that faith.

Firstly, young Ebony,

Not only is one of Leons heart buddies, but she has had a lot of other things to contend with over the last year or so and has a bit of a rough time  (err bit of an understatement there), but today Ebony got up in front of several hunderd people and gave a reading. Take it from some-one who has done, that is no easy thing to do, and for one so young took a lot of courage, but she took it in her stride and did everyone proud.

2. Joe Barry and  3. Kimberley Botham

Joe & Kim with Mr Watterson
Joe Barry, well what can you say. I've not known Joe long but I quite honestly say he is one of the most remarkable young men i have come across. He first came to my attention during the great SOS campaign where he spoke eloquently and passionately in defence of the Surgery team at LGI. To see Joe here today was nothing short of remarkable given he underwent Open Heart Surgery only a couple of weeks ago, what a guy! He is thoughtful, polite and a real credit to his family.

Kimberley Botham:- The lovely Kim, I;m sure Little Leon has a soft spot for Kim as he kept trying to run to her all afternoon. Kim gives us hope, hope for the future for Leon, for not only is Kim kicking CHD's butt, but she has qualified as, and works as a teacher, showing us, that no matter what your condition, with dedication and Hard work, you can succeed in whatever you try.  Kim also likes to party, so at;s a big two fingers up to CHD, and away we go..

If Leon grows up with the qualities of these three "young 'uns" have shown. then we shall be happy parents.

And to the main event. The retirement of Kevin Watterson.

What can I say. A man that have saved and given life to both my Father and my Son, a quiet man, a humble man, a dedicated man. How do you say thank you to man like this. Well, we did, and have several times, and as someone else said, if we were to say thankyou to him every day of our lives it still wouldn't be enough. All we can do is wish him well in his retirement, he has recently discovered he is to become a grandfather, so, he has a new job, one he will be as great in as his last one i am sure, and he takes the best wishes of hundreds upon hundreds of grateful parents, grandparents and children with him.

So Little Leon gave Kevin a present, hopefully one that Kevin will appreciate the Irony of, because you always have to keep in practise! We said our thanks (again), passed on my dads best wishes as well and left kevin to his adoring fans. I kid you not, it was like a meet and greet for a pop star!

By now little Leon was all tired out, so we made our way home, Leon was asleep after about 30 seconds in the car, and has now retired to bed, recharging his batteries, for he has to meet the Lovely dr Brown tomorrow for his MOT, and will be calling in to see all his nursey laaaaydeees to stock up on some hug time.

So, it's night night from Little Leon and sheee you shooon!

Friday, 6 December 2013

Little Leon Is Three!

Well, That's when it all started, on a very very cold Tuesday three years ago. Little did we know what a ride it was going to be. Sheer Joy to your worst nightmare in the space of 24 hours and to all points in between in the last three years. 

I'm not sure what you women complain about when it comes to labour, at least you get a bed, I was stood up for the best part of 7 hours, mind you I did nip outside for a bit to say congratulations to my friend who coincidentally was there at the arrival of his youngest son on the same day, so a Happy Birthday to Ethan as well!

Birthdays are about celebrating, particularly the celebration of a life. Leon for one so young has been through so much, but (nearly) always does it with a cheeky smile and a hug.

He has a soft spot for the laaydees, especially nurses, maybe that's why he doesn't complain about his (all too frequent) visits to hospital. 
That said we have been lucky (!!), we have met new friends that we probably would not have met, and have certainly gained a different perspective on things as well. We try and live life as close to normal as possible, easier said than done at times, but i think we do ok.

Helens work took her away from home pretty much every other week, so it was left to me and the the little dude to amuse ourselves, always a recipe for trouble that!. I don't know if i;ve been a "good" dad or not, I hope I have, i;ve done my best and that's all any parent can do. Helen is looking for a change of Job so she can stop us getting into trouble, so if anyone is looking for an OT, leave us a message!!!

As Leon has got older he has certainly developed his own personality, somewhere between a Just william and Just a Gigolo!  He's a bit behind developmentally, but, hey, if i'd been through what he had, so would I.
He'll catch up i;m sure, but if he doesn't so be it, as long as he's happy i really don't care.

Leon Loves spending time with both sets of Grandparents, Knitting Nana (Helens Mother) spoils him by cooking his dinner most Sundays, where he goes to see his Cousins Jasmine & Cara, and  he teases my dad by waiting until he is just about to nod off and going WAKE UP!!! poor Grandad....

Is It Leon or is it Daddy?

We have even managed to squeeze in a couple of Holidays. Leon loves the Sun, the Sand, The pool, the Girls (or is that daddy....) Err, ....

Life is for living, Leon has taught us that much, not that we didn't already know that, but sometimes you need something to come along and make you realise that it is, and they are not just words. 

Leon:- Daddy carry the bucket.
Daddy:- No you carry the bucket
Leon:- But daddy....
Daddy, No, you wanted it, you carry it!
Leon:- But daddy your the bestest bucket carrier in the world
Daddy:- **sighs**

So, as Three years have passed, both very quickly and agonisingly slowly at times, we look forward to many more birthdays, more parties, more holidays, more time just doing stuff. For those that have been with on the ride, buckle up! we aint done yet!

“One must simply take the days of their lives as they happen. If you spend time worrying over what is to come, which may or may not happen, then you will only be wasting precious days you will wish in the future you could have cherished a bit longer.” 

― R.J. GonzalesMundahlia

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Christmas is coming!

Today was the Childrens Heart Surgery Fund;s xmas party.

There was the usual scenes of kids running around, playing, laughing, crying, eating and generally having loads of fun. Sounds like a scene repeated up and down the country, so what's so special about it you ask?

Well, the room was full of children who have either had, or will be having heart surgery at the Leeds General Infirmary Childrens cardiac unit. It;s a rare chance where parents and children alike get to leave behind the everyday worries that they go through, knowing that the room is full of people who understand what you are going through or are about to go through. Doesn't sound like a big deal from the outside, but to us it is. We all get great support from friends and family, but, as they saying goes, you will never really understand how it feels until you go through it. I hope that no-one reading this ever has to go through it, sadly I know many have already, but one day, maybe, just maybe......

The CHSF relies purely on donations, the support it gives to families and the unit is immeasurable, so, should you have a spare few bob lying around chuck it either their way or to us and we will pass it on.

To be in a room full of amazing people with amazing stories makes you realise even more how precious the gift of life is and how fragile our grip on it is. Sadly, some little ones could not be there, some to ill to make it, even more sadly, some were looking down from above, but they're never far from our thoughts, especially at Christmas. Leon made the most of the chance to run round hugging all the ladies, saving some extra special ones for the lovely Ebony and Kim. He was a very good boy when seeing Santa, although he's not sure about this being good ALL the time is about!

So, Leon has worn himself out  hugging all the laaaydeeees and has retired to his bed to recharge the batteries ready for next week. He says, Hug your loved ones extra tight tonight, and sends big love to all.
and remember the words of Alfred D Souza

“Dance as though no one is watching you,
Love as though you have never been hurt before,
Sing as though no one can hear you,
Live as though heaven is on earth.”

Night Night everybody