Skip to content

Father Raises Funds For Daughter’s Dream Trip To Disneyland Amid Life-Threatening Heart Condition

Kevin O'Connell aims to fulfill 11-year-old Hope's dreams as she faces another major surgery

A dad has raised thousands of pounds so his daughter who has a life-threatening heart condition can go to Disneyland.

Hope Turnbull, 11, has suffered with a heart defect since birth and received lifesaving open heart surgery within hours of being born.

But despite doctors expressing concern for Hope’s future, the schoolgirl has proven medical professionals wrong.

Her heart condition means she will require medical supervision for the rest of her life, and another round of major surgery is the latest hurdle for Hope.

She has already had around 50 operations, including one to fit a pacemaker at four- years-old, and has been on blood thinners throughout much of her childhood.

Her dad, Kevin O’Connell, 30, has been by her side through it all, and is desperate to whisk her away to Disneyland before the end of the summer.

Kevin from Colchester, Essex, said: “There are many areas of Hope’s life affected by her heart condition, the major one being use of the blood thinning medication warfarin.

Hope Turnbull with her father Kevin O’Connell. Hope Turnbull, 11, has suffered with a heart defect since birth and received lifesaving open heart surgery within hours of being born. PHOTO BY KEVIN O’CONNELL/SWNS 

“This is just one of many medications Hope has to take daily, which has to be monitored at home via use of a hand held machine.

“We also have to monitor her diet to limit her intake of vitamin K and control her activities so she doesn’t get in to any accidents.

“Any kind of physical accident would endanger her health and well-being due to the blood thinning capacity of warfarin. But we try and let her live as normal life as possible.”

Hope has suffered three cardiac arrests after undergoing heart operations, and surgery always poses a big risk.

Although the schoolgirl, whose condition has seen her miss out on three years of education, has so far defied the odds and is now preparing to start secondary school.

The start of the new academic year in September has seen the major heart operation, which was scheduled for next week, postponed so Hope can get off to the best start in Year 7.

And Kevin has been busy raising funds so he can take Hope to Disneyland Paris before the end of the summer.

So far he’s raised £1.3k but the dad-of-one is aiming to hit £5k to fulfil his daughter’s dreams.

Kevin said: “Hope needs the surgery which will involve fitting a new pacemaker.

“We’ve got a bit of time before then, and she’s been through so much.

“She’s been so brave, and I’d love to be able to take her to Disneyland to give her the experience she deserves. Any donations would mean the world to us.”

Produced in association with SWNS Talker

“What’s the latest with Florida Man?”

Get news, handpicked just for you, in your box.

Check out our free email newsletters

Recommended from our partners