West Sussex woman begins the ride of her life for charities

Southsea firefighters save pet Chihuahuas from house blaze

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RIDING a horse from John O’ Groats to Lands End is not going to be easy.

But Katrina Littlechild, from East Wittering, West Sussex, and her trusty steed Cognac, are ready to undertake the 1,200-mile challenge for the British Heart Foundation (BHF), Wessex Heartbeat and Ocean Ward.

Yesterday the 22-year-old began the ride in honour of the research and treatments that saved her nephew’s life.

She said: ‘When Noah was born he didn’t put on weight, he had a grey colour to his skin, he was very sweaty and breathless and he found it hard to sleep.

‘At six weeks old it was discovered he had a hole in his heart and further investigations diagnosed him with Tetralogy of Fallot, a congenital heart defect which causes low oxygen levels in the blood and defects to the heart and major blood vessels.’

At just 15 weeks old Noah had an operation which took five hours to complete.

The surgery was a success except his pulmonary valve had to be removed as it wasn’t functioning, leaving him with a residual leak which will require further surgery later on in life to insert an artificial valve and operations afterwards to replace the artificial parts as they wear out.

Sponsor Katrina at justgiving.com/1000milesoncognac