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Cardiothoracic Services (Heart and Lung)

Childrens Heart Unit Fund (CHUF)

The Children's Heart Unit Fund aims to keep the Freeman Hospital at the forefront of children’s cardiac care by raising money to buy equipment, facilities, aftercare, pay salaries and research for the Children’s Heart Unit.

Small pieces of equipment help the nurses on the wards, and larger items help doctors and surgeons undertake complex operations. Sometimes funds are used to help pay for medical and support staff - essential to the running of the unit - and also for specialist resources to help children and their families.

About CHUF

CHUF funds enabled the artificial heart programme to start in the late 1990s. An artificial (Berlin) heart is a device that sits outside of the body and takes over the work of the heart to keep the child alive until a donor heart is found.

CHUF still makes important contributions to the programme having funded specialist monitoring equipment to enable the devices to be used more safely.

CHUF also paid for a portable ECHO machine which has made the lives of children and their families much easier. The machine enables the cardiologist to go to other hospitals to assess children, rather than patients having to travel to the Freeman.

Support CHUF

These are just a few examples of the work CHUF has done to support the Children’s Heart Unit.

The CHUF office is just outside Ward 23 and is open every week day between 8.30am and 1.30pm.

For more information visit the CHUF website at

In the news

Ant and Dec become patrons of the Children’s Heart Unit Fund

Ant and Dec with baby: photo courtesy of NCJ SyndicationCHUF has announced that Geordie television duo Ant and Dec are their new patrons, along with footballing legend and local hero Alan Shearer. Ant and Dec delighted the children, families and staff when they arrived on the ward to make the announcement, taking the time out to visit all the children on the ward and the Children’s Intensive Care Unit (PICU).

Dec said: “We’re really excited about it. We were honoured when we were asked to become patrons. We have been to the unit a couple of times and have seen the work that they do and we were only to happy to be part of it. We have met some of the kids who are amazing and courageous, but the staff manage to keep everybody’s spirits up and keep a smile on everybody’s face. It is a really inspirational place and a wander around here really puts your problems in perspective.”


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