Alfreton company's fundraising vow after baby's heart surgery

A Derbyshire company has pledged to raise funds for a heart charity next year after it provided lifesaving surgery to the managing director’s granddaughter just days after she was born.

Permaroof will raise funds for Heart Link throughout 2020 after managing director Adrian Buttress’ granddaughter River Mai Bishop underwent a major seven-and-a-half-hour operation to enlarge her heart. Adrian and his family received extensive support from Heart Link.

The importer and distributor of Firestone RubberCover Permaroof, which has its head office in Alfreton, has kickstarted its backing of Heart Link by donating £2,000. The company will be supporting the charity in 2020 through various staff events and by donating all funds generated by recycling excess packaging in its new specially purchased compacter.

Adrian said: “We’re delighted to be able to support the work of Heart Link over the next 12 months. It’s important that we back local causes that make a real difference to the lives of others. I know all too well how vital Heart Link’s work is as the charity supported me and my family when my granddaughter was fighting for her life in Glenfield Hospital.

“The staff were simply amazing. The heart surgeon Dr Saeed totally rebuilt River Mai’s heart so now it works perfectly fine. For that, we will owe him forever. The staff on the maternity ward were also outstanding – when it all started going wrong, they kept their nerves and helped River Mai defeat the odds, which were stacked against her. 

“River Mai is an absolute joy. She attends Glenfield every six weeks so they can monitor her progress and, so far, everything is going as planned. She’ll be having another operation in the New Year to repair a small hole in her heart and a leaking valve that was purposely left from the first surgery. Naturally, we’re not looking forward to it but there is such a supportive environment at the hospital and that provides us with great comfort. 

“When we announced our new initiative to our employees, they were keen to get involved and have already started talking about possible ways of raising money, including holding bake sales and embarking on sponsored walks.”