Chanel Murrish

Age: 3
From: County Durham

Chanel Murrish, James Cathcart, Ashley Banjo

Chanel was born with a rare heart condition – first identified at the 20-week scan but worsening at the 30-week scan when hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) was diagnosed. HLHS affects roughly 1 in 5000 new-borns and mostly requires invasive surgery. With some extremely difficult decisions to make, Chanel’s parents agreed that at birth she would have immediate open-heart surgery. This was the quickest open-heart surgery ever done, and Chanel was the youngest patient in the world.

Chanel, with the help of her Mum, has charted her journey through Facebook raising much-needed awareness for the UK’s biggest killer in children, Congenital Heart Defects. Chanel’s experiences give so much hope and support to thousands of parents. Struggling also with a stroke and cerebral palsy, she took part in a charity cat walk for The Children’s Heart Fund, showing nothing can stop her.

Chanel has spent every Christmas Eve since being born handing out gifts at the Newcastle Freeman Heart Unit, to families and children spending Christmas in hospital, along with Santa Clause and other characters, trying to bring a smile at a difficult time for others. As well as this, Chanel raises money for other charities, including CHUF, The British Heart Foundation and When You Wish Upon a Star.

Chanel is currently awaiting her fourth open heart surgery and will be the first in the UK with her full condition to have the surgery. She is a complete inspiration and always smiling.