Family’s fundraising plan in Shani’s memory
THE GRIEVING parents of a six-yearold girl who died following complicated open heart surgery are raising funds for the hospital where she spent some of her short life.
Shani Berman’s Borehamwoodbased family have set up a JustGiving page to raise vital funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), where she was first treated as a baby.
Her parents Simon and Juliet wrote on the fundraising page: “We’re raising money in Shani’s memory for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity because they want to improve life chances for heart kids.”
Speaking to the JC, Mr Berman added: “A few lovely friends told us they wanted to raise some money in Shani’s name in various ways, and so we created the JustGiving page with Great Ormond Street’s help to provide a common collection point for those endeavours.”
Shani, the youngest of three siblings and a pupil at Immanuel College
Prep School in Bushey, was born with a large hole in her heart and no valve linking it to her lungs. GOSH implanted a tiny Gore-Tex tube where the valve should have been. Then at 20 months she suffered from heart failure and her parents were told that she would not make it. “Yet, remarkably, over the next four years, Shani grew into a lively little girl,” reads the fundraising page In recent months Shani’s condition began to deteriorate, so doctors recommended more surgery to replace the Gore-Tex tube.
An emotional Mr Berman said: “The plan was to give her a valve and a new lease of life but it was always uncertain how her heart would react. Despite two weeks in intensive care she never pulled through.”
Shani died in February, and Mr Berman said: “We’ve obviously been hit very hard by this tragedy and we’ve found that one of the ways we’ve tried to stay strong and see a future is to try and make Shani’s memory into a blessing and try and bring her smile and determination and laughter into as many people’s lives as possible.
The family hope to raise £5,000 for GOSH.