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Star date: 23rd May 2011

GREAT SCOTT!

Vertigo Challenge
Imperial War Museum – The Lowry
4th and 5th June 2011  

"I'm terrified of heights, I'm terrified of open spaces, I'm terrified of deep water…you don't know how bad I am!" Janieve

Salford mum, Janieve Petruzis, is facing her fears and will soon go flying across Salford Quays. But Janieve, whose son Scott was very, very poorly, is doing the zip wire from hell to help other parents who find themselves in a similar situation to herself.

Full story here…


Janieve Petruzis' son, Scott, who's two, is happily sitting on the couch watching telly in the front room of his house near Whit Lane. He's got a glint of cheekiness in his eyes and a permanent smile on his face. Janieve cuddles him as she reels off his short history of operations and illnesses.

"Scott was born at 38 weeks by emergency section at Hope Hospital and was transferred to St Mary's in Manchester; I never saw him for three days due to a lack of ambulances and staff to escort me there because of the Caesarian" she recalls "He was born with a condition that affects one in 7,500 babies, believed to be caused by toxins in the air that upset the reproduction of the oesophagus."

The condition is called tracheo oesophageal fistula, or TOF, and Scott was also born with oesophageal atresia, which means his food pipe was unconnected to his stomach so he was unable to eat, drink or swallow. On top of all this he had a heart defect, a single kidney that had reflux and his appendix and intestines were in the wrong place, up his back.

This might destroy many families but for Janieve it's spurred her on to champion the people who helped to save Scott's life, from Dr James Bruce who performed the risky operation that moved his stomach into his chest to allow him to feed properly (and who Scott is named after), to the nurses and staff who helped her get through an ongoing ordeal that saw Scott spend seven months in hospitals.

It was while Scot was having open heart surgery at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool that Janieve experienced the importance of being able to be with her son.

"We stayed at the Ronald McDonald House there so we could be near Scott which was a godsend" she recalls "These houses are helping ill kids be near their parents, which as everyone who's been in that position will understand, they just want to be near their kids. That's why I'm raising £5000 to furnish a family room at our new Ronald McDonald House in Manchester. And for that I'm prepared to throw myself off a building…"

Janieve has organised a whole load of fundraising events towards her financial target, including a charity football match and a women's night. But nothing compares to this in terms of sheer fear.

She's taking part in the Ronald McDonald House Charity's Vertigo Challenge, a zip wire slide from the Imperial War Museum to The Lowry on June 4th, and all the money raised goes towards the completion of the new sixty bedroom Manchester House being built next to Royal Manchester Children's Hospital which will provide a free 'home from home' for families of children being treated in the hospital.

The zip wire goes 250 metres from the Imperial War Museum to The Lowry and just the thought of it shocks Janieve…

"I'm terrified of heights, I'm terrified of open spaces and I'm terrified of deep water but if I can put my fear aside to help the kids that's what I'm doing if for… even though I might end up in hospital with a bit of oxygen and on a stretcher!

"You don't know how bad I am" she shivers "I said `Can I wear blinkers?'…I mean, even when I go an aeroplane and stand up I don't like looking down but I've got to do it for the kids."

Janieve's doing the zip with friends Dawn Pritchard and Debbie Young, and anyone can go along and watch her terror at the Quays. But what she really wants is for people to donate any amount of money towards her £5000 goal.

"Everyone has been fantastic" she says "I've been overwhelmed, I've been emotional, I've had people I've not seen for a very long time knocking on saying `Here's this, here's that'. We're in a recession, people have got nothing but everyone's helped the best way they can, whether it's been helping me print leaflets or donating £5 or £10, which means a lot to me.

"Salford people have been fantastic helping me raise this money" she adds "To say they are all Salford Stars is an understatement, and I'm proud to know them all."

Janieve reaches over and cuddles Scott again…

"He's doing very well" she says "He still suffers with chest infections, he will still have to have his food pipe dilated as he gets older to accommodate him growing, his heart has got a bit of a leak which means it might have to be operated on when he gets to four or five and his kidney's been a bit naughty and is not working as well as it should.

"He had his appendix taken out because it was no good for him and his intestines have behaved themselves since they've been put in the right place" she adds "But he's a happy little boy. He's very passive and just takes everything in his stride. He's very resilient, and, like kids of his age, just gets on with it because it's just his little world."

Meanwhile, his mum's little world is about to be shattered in flight across Salford Quays…

"I did ask my mam a stupid question" Janieve laughs "`Is it deep?' And she said `Well, when we were kids and I used to go down the docks with my grand dad and my dad they used to have big war ships in there'…And I thought `Oh god!'. But I've got to do it haven't I? I'm terrified…"

You can see Janieve do her Vertigo Challenge on June 4th starting at 11am on Salford Quays. And you can donate to her £5000 target by clicking here or going to www.justgiving.com/Janieve-Petruzis

Anyone mad enough to want to participate in the Vertigo Challenge can check out the details at  www.rmhc.org.uk/events or contact Anna Bullock on 0161 253 4118. There's a £20 registration fee and participants are asked to raise £100 in sponsorship.

All money raised is going towards Ronald McDonald House Charity's completion of the new sixty bedroom Manchester House being built next to the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital and due to open in spring next year.


 

 

janieve petruzis wrote
at 22:07:05 on 28 May 2011
great article thanks to my new mate stephen who is so passionate about his work thank you for helping me spread the good work of rmhc x
 
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