Fun day to raise funds for Ramsgate toddler waiting for heart transplant

Ronnie is fighting every day but is still very poorly and awaiting a heart transplant

A fun day will be held in Westgate to raise money in aid of a Ramsgate toddler in hospital waiting for a heart transplant.

Two-year-old Ronnie Ripley was rushed to hospital on June 23 in a critical condition with doctors thinking he would not survive. The little one had to be shocked with a defibrillator twice.

Mum Nicole had called the ambulance after her son turned blue. Initially blue-lighted to QEQM Hospital in Margate, Ronnie was then taken to St Mary’s Hospital and put in an induced comma but needed to be moved to heart and lung specialist hospital, the Royal Brompton.

Following tests Ronnie was diagnosed with rare heart disease restrictive cardiomyopathy, which is where the walls of the main heart chambers become stiff and rigid and cannot relax properly after contracting. This means the heart cannot fill up properly with blood.

The toddler was initially thought to be making progress and was taken off the ventilator but his heart rate accelerated and he had to be sedated once more.

He also suffered four infections and mum Nicole was told her son had a ruptured bowel.

Nicole and Ronnie

Last month, Ronnie became a little more responsive as the hospital teams worked to keep the infections under control. The transplant team officially accepted Ronnie on the list but the wait for a heart could be six months to one year.

Thankfully his lung pressure is down, meaning he does not that transplant and medics can concentrate on his heart.

At the end of July Ronnie, who loves Paw Patrol, singing Frozen songs and Shark Dog, sat up by himself and is spending more time awake but there is still a long journey ahead.

Nicole, 25, said: “Ronnie is fighting and showing nothing but strength. Every day is different and very hard, he has had further tests done and is eligible for the heart transplant. We have to stay in hospital until this happens due to Ronnie’s condition.

“He is awake a lot more and breathing for two hours a time on his own, twice a day, however, he still has machines doing a lot of the work for him.

“He is having feeds through his tube but he really wants a drink and he isn’t allowed one because of his lung being wet.

“It hurts really bad to see him ask for a drink, as a mum I just want to give him one.

“We have a long road ahead of us and the wait is excruciating. The good days are not so good but every day we are thankful that Ronnie is fighting.

“He is still a very poorly boy.”

To help with the costs of staying in London, and for any items Ronnie might need, family friend Lucinda Rose has set up a Gofundme and is now organising the fun day.

The event will take place at Christ Church URC in Westgate Bay Avenue on Saturday, August 20 between 1pm and 5pm.

Entry is £1 adults, children free. The event will include a bouncy castle, face-painting, lucky dip, cake sale and mascots. There will also be stalls, sand art, glitter tattoos and more.

Anyone who would like a stall, costing £10, can email [email protected]

Lucinda said: “The funds will be used for living expenses for his mum while she stays in London as well as costs while at the hospital with Ronnie and anything Ronnie may need throughout recovery and this traumatic time of his life.”

Find the Gofundme page here

Fundraiser launched to help Ramsgate toddler fighting for his life