Remarkable Rory inspires his mum to run the London Marathon

Posted on Wednesday 27th October 2021
Rory at the pool smiling next to a picture of his mother running the marathon.

Rory and his mother, Yasmin.

Inspired by her son, Rory, a mum-of-two has completed the London Marathon to thank Evelina London.

Rory was born with a rare type of congenital heart disease and has had multiple procedures at Evelina London, including two open heart surgeries. Our heart team has cared for Rory since he was born at St Thomas’ Hospital via an emergency caesarean section. He had his first open heart surgery at just five days old.

Yasmin Caird, from Berkshire, finished the 26.2 mile run to say thank you for her son's care. At Yasmin’s 20 week scan, she received the difficult news that her son had a problem with his heart. After being referred to our specialists, she was told her baby had a serious condition called truncus arteriosus. This rare heart defect occurs when the two main arteries don't develop properly and remain as a single vessel. This results in too much blood flowing to the lungs which, over time, can cause breathing difficulties and damage the blood vessels inside the lungs. Truncus arteriosus is usually fatal if it isn't treated.

Yasmin, who works as a special educational needs coordinator, said: “Seeing Rory after his first open heart surgery was a massive shock. Although we had seen pictures, no one can prepare you for the reality of seeing your baby hooked up to a multitude of machines, their body full of wires and tubes.”

Rory recovered well from his surgery and was finally able to go home four weeks after he was born. He has continued to be cared for by Evelina London and has since had a further open heart surgery and several more procedures to keep his heart functioning. Now six-years-old, he is a healthy, happy boy, who has recently started year two at school. He has started football and swimming lessons, which were things that Yasmin wasn’t sure he would be able to enjoy given his difficult start in life.

Yasmin said: “It was so difficult in those first few years of his life. Rory was so unwell and in comparison to where he is now, it is remarkable. He has made such huge progress.”

For Yasmin, raising money by running her first ever marathon was a way to show her gratitude for the care he and the whole family have received.

The mother-of-two said: “Even before Rory was born, Evelina London has been a very big part of our lives. Rory spent a lot of time in hospital during the first few years of his life, being cared for by a huge number of different staff. It sounds dramatic but they literally have saved his life.

“We still go for regular check-ups and Rory will need ongoing interventions so the hospital and the staff will continue to be part of our lives for years to come. I thought it would be really nice to run the marathon as a way of saying thank you for everything that Evelina London has done for us.”

Dr Kuberan Pushparajah, a consultant cardiologist at Evelina London said: “I want to send a huge thank you and congratulations to Yasmin for completing the London Marathon. The parents of the children we see are exceptionally strong people, as Yasmin taking on this challenge proves. It is an immense pleasure to see Rory growing up and doing so well after such a tough start in life. I hope Yasmin is enjoying some well-earned rest after doing such an incredible job.”

You can still donate to Yasmin’s fundraising campaign by visiting her JustGiving page.