A Motherwell tot has been named a ‘Young Heart Hero’ for inspiring family and friends to raise thousands for charity.
Three-year-old Robbie Hughes was born with serious heart problems, but thanks to life-saving open heart surgery, he is now an energetic boy living a full life.
He’s inspired his parents Hollie and Kevin, big brother Ben, sister Amie and wider family and friends to raise over £1000 for British Heart Foundation Scotland, as well as thousands for other charities.
Robbie was named BHF Scotland’s Young Heart Hero at the charity’s annual supporter conference at the University of Glasgow on Tuesday (June 21).
Mum Hollie explained that Amie and Ben organised a fundraising wear red day at Holytown Primary School and a special assembly to encourage others to stay heart healthy.
They also inspired the head teacher to arrange for pupils to learn CPR, the skills that could save a life.
Hollie says: “Robbie has inspired us to start a support group for those in the UK who are affected by tetralogy of fallot.
“So far we have over 550 members who look to us for comfort and reassurance.
“Robbie has also inspired us to raise awareness of congenital heart defects. We have a Facebook page posting and sharing important facts about signs and symptoms to look out for.
“Robbie may only be three, and have been born with a broken heart, but he has touched the hearts of many and he continues to do so with his enthusiasm for life.
“Sometimes superheroes live in the hearts of small people fighting big battles.”
James Cant, director of BHF Scotland, said: “BHF-funded advances have helped to reduce the number of children dying from congenital heart disease by more than 80 per cent over the last 10 decades.
“Robbie has benefited from such advances and has inspired so many people to raise thousands to fund our life-saving research so that we can continue making life better for people born with, and living with, heart disease.
“He totally deserves to be named our Young Heart Hero.”
The charity’s Heart Hero Awards recognise and celebrate the exceptional contribution of individuals and groups who are fighting for every heartbeat in Scotland, such as heart patients who are campaigning for better services, fundraisers, partners, scientists and health professionals.