A fun day will be held in Westgate to raise money for a toddler from Ramsgate in hospital awaiting a heart transplant.
Two-year-old Ronnie Ripley was rushed to hospital on June 23 in critical condition, with doctors believing he would not survive. The little one had to be electrocuted twice with a defibrillator.
Mom Nicole had called the ambulance after her son turned blue. Initially lit blue at QEQM Hospital in Margate, Ronnie was later taken to St Mary’s Hospital and placed in an induced comma, but had to be transferred to specialist heart and lung hospital, Royal Brompton.
Following tests, Ronnie was diagnosed with the rare heart condition Restrictive Cardiomyopathy, where the walls of the heart’s major chambers become stiff and rigid and cannot relax properly after contracting. This means that the heart cannot properly fill with blood.
The toddler was initially thought to be making progress and was taken off the ventilator, but his heartbeat accelerated and he had to be sedated again.
He also suffered from four infections and mum Nicole was told her son had a ruptured gut.
Last month, Ronnie became a bit more responsive as hospital teams scrambled to control infections. The transplant team officially accepted Ronnie on the list, but the wait for a heart could be anywhere from six months to a year.
Luckily, his lung pressure is down, which means he doesn’t want the transplant and the doctors to be able to focus on his heart.
In late July, Ronnie, who loves Paw Patrol, singing songs from Frozen and Shark Dog, sat up on his own and is spending more time awake, but there’s still a long way to go.
Nicole, 25, said: “Ronnie is fighting and showing nothing but strength. Every day is different and very difficult, he has undergone further tests and is eligible for heart transplantation. We have to stay in the hospital until this happens due to Ronnie’s condition.
“He’s a lot more awake and breathing on his own for two hours, twice a day, but he still has machines doing a lot of the work for him.
“He’s fed through his tube, but he really wants to drink and he’s not allowed to because his lungs are wet.
“It hurts a lot to see him asking 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 grateful that Ronnie is fighting.
“He’s still a very bad boy.”
To help cover living costs in London and for any items Ronnie might need, family friend Lucinda Rose set up a Gofundme and is now hosting the fun day.
The event will take place at Christ Church URC on Westgate Bay Avenue on Saturday, August 20 between 1-5 p.m.
Admission is £1 adults, free for children. The event will include a bouncy castle, face painting, lucky dip, bake sale and mascots. There will also be stalls, sand art, glitter tattoos and more.
Anyone who wants a stand, costing £10, can email [email protected]
Lucinda said: “The funds will be used for her mother’s living expenses while she is in London as well as hospital expenses with Ronnie and anything Ronnie may need throughout his recovery and this traumatic period of his life.”