Cash boost for heart unit

Lacey Toni and her dad Andrew Brown
Lacey Toni and her dad Andrew Brown

A PROUD dad is set to hand over £3,000 to the heart unit that saved his daughter’s life.

East Durham man Andrew Brown has helped raise funds for the Children’s Heart Unit at the Freeman’s Hospital, in Newcastle, after eldest daughter Lacey Toni underwent two life saving operations before her first birthday.

The young fighter was under the knife at just eight-days-old to repair a hole in her heart before being operated on again at eight months to help stabilize a life-threatening heart condition.

But Lacey Toni’s dad has done everything he could to help save more young lives by raising money for the unit.

Parish council worker Andrew, 38, said: “I am very proud to be able to help the charity and possibly save more lives, but I could not do it without the help and support from the people around me.

“I honestly thought it would be about £100 or something like that. But now I am holding a cheque for £3,000 and there is more to be done.

“Everyone is always asking how Lacey is and how the family are and it is really touching.

“We know everyone just wants her to be alright and everything we do is helping towards making sure that other families don’t have to go through the heartache that myself and Dawn did.”

Andrew has now raised more than £5,000 for the unit following two charity football games and numerous other events with friends and family.

After the match in 2012, Andrew did not expect the same reception this time.

But he found the support kept coming from businesses and donations from around, not just Easington, but the North-East.

Andrew, who lives in Tyne Terrace, in Easington Colliery, with partner Dawn Corner and second daughter Layla Cara, added: “We are very proud and blessed to have such a wonderful community around us and I really hope everyone keeps supporting the charity work.

“We want to have another charity match next year and hopefully the funds keep coming in and saving people’s lives.”