When Caitlyn Whitehead was born, she was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, more commonly known as “Half a Heart Syndrome”. This incredibly rare condition stops the left half of the heart developing, preventing normal blood circulation. It requires immediate medical intervention and extensive surgery.
Despite so many challenges, Caitlyn now celebrates her 18th birthday, complete with a surprise party. She was only expecting to meet a few friends but almost everyone she knows was there to share the moment.
We first met Caitlyn in 2015, at the old Alder Hey Children’s hospital. On the day, there was a charity walk from the hospital to the Warrington Irish Club, to fundraise for both Alder Hey and for a holiday of a lifetime for Caitlyn. Specialist Consultant Prem Venugopal talks us through Caitlyn’s complex condition and what great fundraising means to his specialist unit.
Fast forward to 2023 and we interview Caitlyn and her mum Natalie going through all the challenges that they have faced over the years.
Grandad Chris Whitehead also joins us, as he and his wife Tina have played such an essential role in keeping Caitlyn safe and well.
Caitlyn is following a career in Journalism, so watch this space! She is a great example of how you can succeed through adversity.
Once you’ve dried those eyes, we play out the show with a new song from one of the most requested and played singers on Irish country radio stations, Mick Mulhern – “My Old Home in Mayo”. Lots of great images of Mayo too so sit back and enjoy.
For more information…
Alder Hey Children’s Hospital fundraising… www.alderheycharity.org
The band at Caitlyn’s party are Eccentric Pony… www.eccentricpony.com
Mick Mulhern can be found on Facebook.. mickmulhernmusic
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Watch the Irish in the UK every Thursday night at 7.30pm on SKY 186 or Freesat 162. Repeated on Tuesday at 1 pm
Repeated On Tuesday At 1PM
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