Hair today, school tomorrow

Posted on Monday 20th September 2021
Evie having her haircut for Evelina London

Evie having her hair cut for charity

A four-year-old girl has started school with a brand new look after cutting off 12 inches of hair to raise money for Evelina London.

After getting her new haircut, Evalina ‘Evie’ Cox has raised more than £1,000 for Evelina London. She is donating the hair she’s had chopped off to a charity
called The Little Princess Trust, which provides real hair wigs to children and young people who have lost their own hair through cancer. Evie’s hair was cut by her mum Jo, who works as a hairdresser. 

Jo, 43, said: “We decided we’d take the opportunity to raise some money for the hospital that has cared for us over the years.”

Evie has undergone two open heart surgeries and multiple procedures at Evelina London to mend a number of life-threatening heart defects, all before her second birthday. Her first surgery took place when she was just six days old. The care began before Evie was born, with doctors diagnosing her heart problems while she was still in the womb. It was arranged that Jo would give birth at St Thomas’ Hospital, which is co-located with Evelina London. This meant she could be assessed by expert clinicians as soon as she was born. 

It was found that her two main blood vessels, the pulmonary artery and the aorta, were swapped over. Known as TGA (transposition of the great arteries), this means that blood flows to the lungs and picks up oxygen but is then pumped back to the lungs instead of travelling around the body. The blood that flows around the body is unable to reach the lungs to pick up oxygen and continues circulating, which means it can't function properly. Doctors also discovered that she had multiple other complex heart problems, including only one coronary artery instead of two.

Jo and her partner Justin were so impressed by the care that they received leading up to Evie’s birth, that they gave her the name Evalina, in tribute to our hospital. Following all of her operations, which included a nine hour open heart surgery when she was two, Evie is doing extremely well. Jo said: “At a recent appointment at Evelina London, we were told her heart is excellent. She will need another operation when she is teenager, but right now she’s a bright, excitable and confident little girl.

“With all that she’s been through, it means so much to see her start school. We’ll always be so incredibly grateful for everything Evelina London has given us. We’d been planning a haircut for Evie before she started school so spoke to her about the charity and she was excited about helping other children."

To donate to Evie’s fundraiser, please visit her JustGiving page.