The Fisher Family

In 2016, Damien and Emma Fisher’s son, Chester was diagnosed with Exomphalos 20 weeks into their pregnancy.

Exomphalos is a congenital abnormality that affects one in every ten thousand live births. This condition is caused by a weakness in the baby’s abdominal wall, often causing organs to grow outside of the body.

After diagnosis, Damien and Emma were referred to Leeds Children’s Hospital which specialises in congenital abnormalities. Chester was born by C section and spent the following week in intensive care, before being moved to surgical newborns.

Emma said “The day Chester was born, they immediately needed an intensive care bed but there were none available. Instead, staff and our consultant stayed behind after their shift had ended to care for Chester until one became available. It was completely above and beyond the call of duty.”

Reparative surgery can only be offered when a child is over the age of 18 months which meant that Chester was discharged for treatment at home until that time.

Damien said “The care that we had to give Chester at home was intense. Thankfully, we had such outstanding training and care from the staff on L41 and L42 before leaving. I dread to think what it would have been like without the incredible support we received.”

At 18 months, Chester had a successful operation and is now living a normal, happy life with his family.

Emma says “We genuinely can’t thank the staff on L42 enough which is why we decided to fundraise. We are so lucky to have the NHS but they’re under enormous pressure and every extra penny we can provide through donations means that the money that the hospitals do have can be spent on more important things.”

In July this year, Damien and Emma set out to raise money for the wards by doing the Leeds 10k. Damien is also the Managing Director of Yorkshire-based marketing agency, Fishtank, where all staff got involved in raising this money.

Damien said “All of my team jumped at the chance to get involved and it was great to see all of our friends, families and supporters chip in for Chester. I am really proud of everyone’s efforts and can’t thank my supporters enough.”

Overall, Damien and Emma’s efforts raised just under £3,000 for wards L41 and L42.

A huge well done to everyone involved and a special thanks to Damien, Emma and Chester from all of us here at Leeds Cares.