My Story – LHM Member Ivy Bouch

My Story – LHM Member Ivy Bouch

Meet Ivy! She’s a remarkable seven-year-old girl full of courage and compassion, despite facing the challenges of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, which means she has half a working heart. Ivy’s special heart means she has less energy than another children her age, and gets cold more easily, amongst other challenges.

In August 2021, Ivy encountered one of her most significant hurdles yet: Fontan surgery – a complex operation to improve her heart function. While her peers prepared for their first day of school, Ivy found herself at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, surrounded by doctors and nurses. It was a scary time but Ivy faced it all with bravery, waving to everyone as she was wheeled into the operating room.

Following her surgery, Ivy’s resilience shone through during her recovery. Despite the discomfort, she was eager to get back on her feet. With unwavering support from her family and the incredible staff at the Hospital, Ivy pushed through the tough moments, always wearing a smile. During this challenging time, Little Hearts Matter provided invaluable resources and support to Ivy and her family, helping them cope with her condition.

But Ivy’s journey extended beyond the hospital walls. Determined to make a difference, Ivy developed a passion for fundraising. Inspired by her family’s annual fundraising for Alder Hey, Ivy sought her own way to give back and support others facing similar challenges.

“Ivy is a natural fundraiser,” Clare, Ivy’s mum, shared proudly. “She’s raised over £9,000 for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and over £600 for JUMP Children’s Charity.” Clare told us how Ivy’s initiatives, from bucket collections to crafting handmade items, brought joy and support to countless children and families in need.

Participating in events like the Alder Hey 3km Safari Walk and hosting festive fundraisers are highlights for Ivy, spreading cheer and generosity to those who needed it most.

Throughout her journey, Little Hearts Matter has been a constant source of support for Ivy and her family. Clare shared how the LHM’s resources, like the Youth Hub an information packs, helped Ivy better understand her condition and navigate challenges at school.

“Her confidence has always been part of her,” Clare remarked, reflecting on Ivy’s journey. “Even when she sometimes faces a lack of understanding from others.”

In 2023, Ivy’s dedication to fundraising earned her recognition, including the ‘Warrington Guardian Youth Fundraiser Award’ and the prestigious ‘British Citizen Youth Award,’ along with a ‘Points of Light Certificate’ from the Prime Minister.

Despite her challenges, Ivy remains a vibrant and joyful young girl, finding joy in dancing, swimming, and being a part of her scout group. Her resilience and determination serve as a powerful reminder that no matter the obstacles we face, we can make a positive impact on the world around us.