Leila Rittey is a Paediatric Cardiologist on the Congenital Heart Unit at Leeds Children’s Hospital; she provides support and care to young patients and their families before and after their surgery. In the next 18 months, Leila will complete her training and hopes to become Consultant at Leeds.

In collaboration with Children’s Heart Surgery Fund, your donations have helped us fund Leila’s International Fetal and Neonatal Cardiology Fellowship at the University of Alberta in Canada.

We spoke to Leila, who is currently working at Great Ormond Street Hospital to develop her skills, about why she wanted to undertake the Fellowship in Canada,

“Once I decided that Fetal Cardiology was the specialty for me, I spent time talking to the current Fetal Cardiologists in Leeds about what I could do to develop my skills and learning in this field. They were both clear that in order to have the time truly dedicated to Fetal Cardiology and to see how other units work it was important to go somewhere other than Leeds.  

“I was told about an opportunity in Canada which was internationally renowned and got in touch with one of the doctors working there. I was able to talk to her and the program just sounded amazing. So, I am truly grateful that Children’s Heart Surgery Fund and Leeds Hospitals Charity have come forward to support me undertaking this incredible opportunity.”

Leila hopes that the Fellowship will help her give poorly children and their families the best possible experience in hospital. When she returns to Leeds in July 2023, Leila hopes to join the Fetal Cardiology Team, and start a clinic to see pregnant women earlier on in their pregnancy to detect heart disease in their baby sooner and provide reassurance to families going forward.

The team Leila will be working with have an 80% success rate of identifying congenital heart disease, and she hopes through her screening sonographer training, she can discover ways to improve the detection of heart disease in Leeds.

Leila says:

 “I am very much looking forward to working with this team who are at the forefront of research in this area worldwide. I’m excited to be participating in research to help push forward this very important specialty. Not only in the year that I am there but continuing a good working relationship with them in the long term to continue this essential work when I am back in Leeds.”