Little girl from Worcestershire who has undergone 5 heart operations scoops British Heart Foundation award

A little girl from Worcestershire who has undergone 5 life-saving heart operations has scooped a fundraising award from the British Heart Foundation.

Sophia Marshall, from Wychbold, had a cardiac arrest when she was just 2 days old and has a number of heart defects.

Despite her condition the 4-year-old works closely with the Worcestershire Heart Fundraising Group to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation.

Sophia attends regular bucket collections, where she proudly tells generous donators about her "special heart."

Her efforts led to her winning the Young Heart Hero award at the British Heart Foundation’s virtual Heart Hero Awards on Tuesday ( 20 October), hosted by TV presenter Vernon Kay.

Sophia's mum, Chantelle, said her daughter was delighted to win the award and says she "squealed and whooped when she heard the news."

The event was filled with nominees who have shown courage, resilience, compassion and bravery in the face of adversity.

It also included appearances from celebrity guests including Ella Henderson, The Kooks singer Luke Pritchard and actress Gemma Atkinson.

Chantelle recalls back to when Sophia was a baby and had her first cardiac arrest.

She says Sophia's lips and fists were going purple as she was making "strange, squeaking noises" before she was rushed to Wolverhampton Royal Hospital.

Sophia was later transferred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where she was put on life-support and told told that she has various heart defects.

She was discharged after nine weeks, but over the years she returned to hospital for 5 different heart surgeries.

Sophia has undergone 5 major heart surgeries. Credit: Ollie Holder, British Heart Foundation

As part of her fundraising Sophia has also helped to promote the annual British Heart Foundation Worcester Hearty Walk.

Last year she was able to take part in the event- Despite her parents being told that Sophia might never walk due to a defect in her spine.

Chantelle describes her daughter as “a headstrong, determined little girl".

Dr Charmaine Griffiths, Chief Executive at the BHF said: “Whilst this year’s Heart Hero Awards were virtual, we enjoyed celebrating the brilliant and inspirational people who have undergone life altering experiences or have changed the lives of others. 

“A huge thank you and congratulations to all of the nominees and winners, judges and presenters, as well as our new celebrity ambassadors for making the Heart Hero Awards the unique and heart-warming event that it is.”

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