A HIGH-ENERGY assault course tournament is being held in Richmond to raise cash for a children’s heart unit – after organisers were inspired by the stories of local children.

Richmondshire Cricket Club is holding an It’s A Knockout event on Sunday, July 6 – using costumes and inflatables from the original BBC television programme.

Cash raised will go to the Children’s Heart Unit Fund at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital, chosen because of two Richmond families who benefitted from it.

Madeleine Orchard, now four, was born with only one valve and two holes in her heart.

The problems were detected at a 20-week scan and parents Stephen and Gemma were told their daughter would have to be operated on soon after birth – but because she was relatively healthy they were able to wait until she was 16-months-old.

The tournament is also dedicated to the memory of Anabelle Rose Taylor, who was born in December but sadly died in April after being a CHUF patient.

Mrs Orchard said: “It was very scary to find out at our 20-week scan that Madeleine had holes in her heart and just one valve, but after meeting consultants at the Freeman and the CHUF team we were put at ease.

“And when she was born she was so strong she didn’t need to have the surgery straight away – and when she finally did doctors found another hole they had to repair, but she was out of intensive care within 24 hours, only needed Calpol after 72 hours, and in a week she was home.”

Anabelle’s mum Rebecca Taylor said CHUF is currently fundraising to build a family accommodation unit at the Freeman – something that would have been invaluable to her.

“We didn’t know Anabelle was poorly until after she was born, but when doctors were running tests before she could come home they found she had rare congenital heart disease Shone’s Complex Syndrome," she said.

“This meant she had multiple abnormalities in the left side of her heart and needed major surgeries.”

Tragically Anabelle died after her third surgery but Mrs Taylor said she wanted to fundraise to help CHUF support other families.

“Anabelle touched the lives of many people so it is a comfort to know this event is in her memory and will raise funds for the Freeman Hospital,” she added.

There is still a chance to enter a team for It’s A Knockout – visit www.richmondshirecc.org.uk.