Jet Aire Services is delighted to announce it has teamed up with a charity partner for the next 12 months. With so many good causes around, it is a difficult decision for the Senior Management Team at JAS to choose one individual charity to raise funds for. But after much deliberation, we have opted to throw our weight behind a charity which has helped – and continues to help – one of our team.
Drainage engineer Chris Beckett and his partner Laura have worked closely with Children’s Heart Surgery Fund (CHSF) over the last four years after their son James was born six weeks prematurely weighing just 4lbs 13oz with serious heart issues.
His condition was quickly diagnosed as being Truncus Arteriousis and within the first few days of his life, James underwent lifesaving open heart surgery and has since had two more similar procedures and will face more as he gets older.
Chris and Laura say they are indebted to the Leeds-based charity for the support they have been given, and as a company we are hoping to raise £5,000 over the next 12 months. Laura said: “Children’s Heart Surgery Fund help us in so many ways and continue to do so.
“They provide parent accommodation in the hospital so that we could be close to James and be with him in a few minutes if he became unwell, and they provided financial support as we were in hospital a long time and this is very expensive.
“They offer continual emotional support, they organise things like Christmas parties which create so many memories for families, and during the pandemic they have offered numerous activities, coffee mornings etc via Zoom.
“From a medical point of view, much of the specialist state of the art equipment they use on the ward at Leeds Children’s Hospital is funded by the charity so any donations are put to good use.”
As a business we will be arranging various fundraising events for staff over the coming months, and brave James will act as an inspiration to all of us as he continues to make great progress despite his complex health issues.
Laura added: “James has had three open heart surgeries, two stents put in, numerous scans and MRIs. He is going to need more heart surgery in the future. “He is a complex little boy who has an unsafe swallow so is nil by mouth and fed via gastrostomy. He has focal seizures and absences, he has hearing loss, an issue with left eye, he uses makaton to communicate as he is non-verbal, he can’t open his jaw so he is going to need an operation to fix this issue.
“There is a strong possibility he is going to need a tracheostomy as there is concern about his airway. “Despite all this he is such a loving child, is absolutely thriving at school and is an absolute pleasure to be around.”
CHSF is funded entirely by charitable donations, and helps more than 17,000 babies, children and adults each year.
As well as providing life-saving medical equipment for the Leeds Congenital Heart Unit, the charity also offers parent accommodation, ward resources, staff training and scientific research. Jet Aire Services Managing Director Darren Pavan said: “Chris is a much-valued member of our team, and we know the difficulties he and Laura have faced over the last few years.
“There are lots of charities who are all deserving causes in their own right, but this one is very close to home for us and deciding to adopt CHSF as our nominated charity for the year is our way of saying thank you for the help they have given to Chris and Laura and hundreds of other families.
“James has undergone so much at such a young age, and he is an inspiration to all of us. I’m confident our staff right across the business will all throw their weight behind this fundraising effort and help Chris and Laura smash their target.”
Sharon Milner, CEO at CHSF, added: “We can only support the Leeds Congenital Heart Unit as a world-class centre of excellence with the help of charity advocates like Chris and Laura, and fabulous business such as Jet Aire Services.
“A huge thank you to everyone involved. We are thrilled Jet Aire have made CHSF their charity of the year, and James is a real inspiration to us all.”