Grateful mum plans third Valentine Ball for heart surgery fund following Margaux Barker’s successful operation

York Press: Margaux Barker, aged seven, taking part in some high-wire activities. Margaux Barker, aged seven, taking part in some high-wire activities.

TICKETS are now on sale for a ball organised by the mother of a young heart surgery patient from York.

Now in its third year, the popular Heart To Heart Valentine Ball, held at the Royal York Hotel, raises money for the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund.

The fund supports the children’s heart surgery unit and intensive care at Leeds General Infirmary.

Myriam Barker, whose daughter, Margaux, underwent successful heart surgery when she was aged only three, said the incredible efforts of the team in Leeds have saved and transformed her daughter’s life.

Mrs Barker said: “People should come to the ball because it’s helping a great charity. I had not planned it would be yearly but it has become so successful it’s becoming annual.

“It’s a great night out guaranteed.”

Seven-year-old Margaux - who was born with a hole in her heart and required open heart surgery - is now so well she is on trial for York’s gymnastics squad and she picked up the Child Of The Year Award at The Press Community Pride Awards in 2011.

Mrs Barker said about her daughter: “Thanks to the surgery, she will have a normal life span. If she had not she would have had an elderly person’s heart by 20.

“She is very lucky. She is doing gymnastics and hopes to be selected for the squad in York – it’s amazing.

“This is my way of saying thank you.”

Entertainment at the black-tie event will include a pianist, Superlicks Party Band and the Rock Choir.

Tickets to the event on Saturday, February 8, are £45 per person or £400 for a table of ten and includ a drinks reception and three-course dinner.

For more details, email heartball@hotmail.co.uk, visit www.chsf.org.uk/valentine-ball or phone 07951 187701/ 0113 3923987.

The Children’s Heart Surgery Fund is fighting to change NHS plans which could see life-saving child heart surgery services moved from nearby Leeds to Newcastle.

A review into the plans is currently under way and it is understood its outcome will be announced in the summer.

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