One of De Montfort Students’ Union (DSU)’s officers has lent her support to a local campaign against the closure of a children’s heart unit.
Keira Rounsley, VP Welfare and Community at DSU, is backing the campaign and petition against the closure of Glenfield Hospital’s Children’s Heart Unit, which was earmarked for closure in April 2017 by NHS England earlier this year.
After a public outcry, it was announced that no final decision had been made and that a public consultation would take place this December. Keira has joined forces with devoted campaigner Shirley Barnes.
Shirley explained: “My eldest son was a student at De Montfort University (DMU), and all of his life he has had to deal with the knowledge that his younger brother has a serious heart defect and has had cope with the effects of this.
“My younger son was born twenty years ago and had his first surgery aged just ten weeks.
“He had two major open heart surgeries aged just sixteen months and at sixteen years old as well as other procedures. He will need further surgery as an adult, [yet] all of his surgeries and after care were at the Glenfield [Children’s Heart Unit].
“Heart defects can affect anyone; any family could be affected.”
Campaigners say that if the unit closes there will be knock-on effects at other units across the area, including at Leicester Royal Infirmary.
Keira said: “DMU is great at helping the community. We’re a city full of students and it’s proven we can make a real difference.
“It was only last year we helped save Leicester’s Central Fire Station, and I know we can help save this unit at Glenfield Hospital too.
“Some of us might think it doesn’t affect us right now, but it might in the future when we have children ourselves. I think it’s really important that we get behind this campaign.”
There will be a public protest on Saturday 29 October meeting at Victoria Park car park (LE1 7RY) before marching to Jubilee Square for a rally against the cuts.
You can also get involved by lending your name to the online petition here, which already has more than 35,000 signatures, and by heading to the dedicated Facebook page here.