A MOTHER who lost her two-year-old son to a lung condition has pledged her support to a Journal-backed health campaign.
The Puffin Appeal wants to raise £2m for a new childhood respiratory unit at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary.
Mandy Curry’s son Sol died just weeks before his third birthday after contracting a deadly respiratory virus.
He had suffered from pulmonary hypertension since birth, which caused major breathing problems and complications for his heart.
Mandy, of Whickham, Gateshead, set up a charity in his name to help youngsters suffering from similar conditions as well as those with learning difficulties.
Now she has joined forces with like-minded fundraisers and has pledged all the money raised this year to The Puffin Appeal.
Mandy, an account manager, said: “This year we are focusing all our fundraising towards the Puffin Appeal. I think it’s really important to raise awareness of what they’re doing at the RVI.
“They do such good work and a there are a lot of happy endings. But I think it’s also important to remember there are children, like Sol, who don’t make it.
“Because of him, we hope that we will give other children opportunities. Respiratory care doesn’t get the focus it needs.”
Born with Down’s syndrome, Sol was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary and then onto the Freeman after his birth, as doctors discovered he had atrial septal defect, a condition which stops the blood from flowing correctly around the lungs, as well as pulmonary hypertension. He was treated for his breathing difficulties and, for a period, was receiving 24-hour oxygen. Sol contracted respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), an infection which leads to chronic respiratory problems, and his lungs slowly failed.
He died in December 2005 and, soon after, Mandy decided to set up the Sol Curry Charitable Trust. She said: “Things like cancer get a lot of attention, and rightly so. But it’s important that respiratory conditions don’t get forgotten.”
Mandy, 41, who has a 10-month old son Daniel, urged more people, charities and organisations to help.
She said: “What they are doing with the Puffin Appeal is great and I am just keen to help in any way I can, to help children in Sol’s position in the future.”
Anyone who wants to contact Mandy’s charity can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
For previous stories about he Puffin Appeal, click the links below