A Dollingstown firm have given a boost to the family of a former employee who are fundraising for the Children’s Heartbeat Trust.
Nine-year-old Natasha Byers was born with a congenital heart defect and her mum Anna has been leading a fundraising drive to support the trust that helped her daughter.
Huhtamaki Ltd, based in Dollingstown, have donated disposable cups and plates with the additional surprise of a cheque worth £100 to the Byers family, who held a fundraiser BBQ on Saturday for the Children’s Heartbeat Trust.
Huhtamaki is dedicated to helping local causes, yet, this one was particularly close to the company’s heart as Natasha’s late grandfather Joe Toman worked there for 15 years.
In Northern Ireland over 200 babies a year are born with a congenital heart defect and Natasha Byers, now aged nine was one of them.
Mum Anna (35) said: “We didn’t know anything was wrong when she was born. We got her home from Craigavon and when she was five days old she went blue from head to toe.”
She was taken to Craigavon, then by ambulance to the Royal where doctors discovered that Natasha had transposition of the great vessels, VSD and aortic arch hypoplasia. Consequently, she was rushed by air ambulance to Birmingham for a life saving operation.
Anna added: “When Natasha was born we’d never heard of the Children’s Heartbeat Trust, but they’ve become a lifeline for the family. The Clark Clinic is fantastic and it’s no wonder people are fighting to keep these services in Belfast. We’ve already been involved in one drama, we don’t want to be in another emergency race to Dublin.”
Of her daughter Anna said: “She takes everything in her stride. She knows what she can and can’t do and she just gets on with it.”
Natasha, a P6 pupil at King’s Park who is one of four sisters, said: “I’m just happy to give as much money as we can to the charity.”
Both mother and daughter were thrilled by Huhtamaki’s donation.