Cycling for Imogen

11 July 2017

Andy McQueen is taking on this year's Prudential RideLondon to thank Evelina London for saving his daughter Imogen’s life.

happy dad with his two children in the colourful ball pool
Andy, with daughter Imogen and her twin brother Zac

‘We have beautiful twins, Imogen and Zac, who were born four years ago. We found out during pregnancy that Imogen was going to have some issues with her heart. After scans at our local hospital, we were referred to Evelina London.'

'We had an idea of what it could potentially be but had to wait until she was born before we knew the exact diagnosis, which made the entire situation a lot more stressful. She was born with a number of serious heart conditions. We were told that without surgery she was not going to live. We were having regular scans at St Thomas'.'

When the twins were born Imogen was taken to the Special Care Baby Unit at St Thomas’. After seven days, she was transferred to Evelina London for her first of many procedures.

‘Dr Bell was with us for the whole journey and is still her cardiology consultant today. Mr Austin was her surgeon and, without his skills and knowledge, Imogen wouldn’t be the smiley little girl she is today. Without the procedure, Imogen would have certainly died and yet, despite the risks involved, Mr Austin maintained his composure and saved Imogen. We later found out that the procedure Mr Austin carried out hadn’t been performed before and quite frankly, without his knowledge, my daughter would not be here today.

‘In January 2014 she had open-heart surgery where Mr Austin worked his magic again by fitting her pulmonary heart valve. She spent nearly a month recovering from the surgery. She has been in and out of Evelina London many times over her four years of life and with every appointment and procedure, we have been looked after by Dr Bell and the nurses of Savannah Ward and PICU (the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit).

‘When we go into Evelina London, the courage and support embodied by Mr Austin and Dr Bell is evident everywhere. All the doctors and nurses will go that extra mile to ensure the best care for your loved one, and we are really appreciative. Without the help, skill and support of this amazing hospital, families like mine and many others would have had a very different outcome.

‘This year I will be taking part in the Prudential RideLondon – a cycle ride that starts at the Olympic Park in London, where it will then stretch out in to Surrey, up Leith Hill and Box Hill, then back into London, finishing on the Mall. This will be 100 miles on closed roads. As Evelina London has played a major role in my life, as a parent I’m raising money so they can help other families.’

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