6 July 2017

Heart surgery schoolgirl raises money for horses

Open heart surgery survivor, seven-year-old Lucy Rayner, has taken on Brooke’s #MyMiniHackathon challenge with her pony Meric. Together they took on 10 miles in 100 days raising over £400. 

Lucy Rayner, Jessica Mendoza and Little Alf

Lucy was presented with a rosette for completing her mini Hackathon by Brooke ambassador Jessica Mendoza. Pictured with Jessica, Hannah Russell and Little Alf

Diagnosed with heart condition
Lucy as a baby, in hospital

Despite her young age Lucy, from Taporley in Cheshire, has already had open heart surgery twice after being diagnosed with rare heart condition Hemituncus at just eight months old. But Lucy is not letting her condition hold her back! With Meric’s help she keeps a positive approach to life and stays active by riding regularly.

Lucy’s mum Catherine helped Lucy with her Mini Hackathon, though she herself can only ride a little due to a riding accident 20 years ago which left her with nerve damage. So far, Lucy has smashed her target, and raised over £400 for Brooke to help improve the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules in developing countries.

Horses are part of Lucy's recovery

Horses have always been a huge part of Lucy’s life and rehabilitation. Lucy got her first pony Teddy, a miniature Shetland, aged 22 months and together they trotted around the country lanes.

Lucy and her mum, Catherine

She was presented with a rosette for completing 10 miles by showjumper and Brooke ambassador Jessica Mendoza. The presentation took place at Bolesworth Horse Show with author Hannah Russell and her mini Shetland Pony, LittleAlf , who are also taking part in #MyMiniHackathon. Brooke was official chosen charity at Bolesworth this year.

“I’m very proud of Lucy and I’ve enjoyed doing this Mini Hackathon challenge together. Although Lucy has completed her #MiniHackathon, she is going to carry on and see how many miles she can clock up over the Summer!” said Catherine.

Riding with famous equestrians

Lucy has already done one of her rides with horse showman Robert Walker, and hopes to carry on doing rides with other famous equestrians.

Lucy riding with Robert Walker

Catherine Continued “Lucy loves horses so much, they have helped her through her various hospital visits and she even had a photo of Teddy by her bed when she had her second operation, so it made sense to support a charity that helps millions of horses in the developing world.”

Lucy’s riding and love of horses has helped her take her mind off regular hospital visits and operations. Lucy is fitted with an artificial pulmonary valve and will have to have further operations to replace the valve as she grows up. Any cough or chest infection is particularly dangerous as it may mean she has fluid on her lungs, caused by the condition. The operations have left Lucy with a large scar on her chest which she and her mum call her ‘magic zip’.

Her condition was picked up when a scan to look for a hole in her heart revealed the far more serious illness. Her first operation left her on a ventilator for three days. Catherine hopes that taking part in Brooke’s #MyMiniHackathon will help Lucy with her ongoing recovery whilst raising money to help the animals Lucy loves most.

If you are inspired by Lucy's story

Support Lucy

To sponsor her go to her JustGiving page.