THE family of a 15-month-old baby, who was rushed to hospital with a racing heartbeat, are raising money to help doctors secure a specialist device which saved his life.

Earlier this month Veni Berry-Paul was unwell and parents Arran and Phillippa, from Radcliffe, grew concerned when he developed a racing heartbeat and he was taken to the Royal Bolton Hospital.

Veni’s grandmother, Lesley Paul, said it was “the most awful time in our lives” as doctors battled to save him. Medics administered drugs in a bid to slow his heart down, as it reached up to 300 beats per minute.

Veni didn’t respond to medication so doctors used a defibrillator, which sent him into cardiac arrest.

Doctors administered adrenaline and transferred him to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

He went into cardiac arrest again during the journey but doctors made him stable to be put on an ECMO machine. An extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machine (ECMO) delivers oxygen into the child’s blood.

This Is Lancashire: Veni, Arran and Phillippa

Veni, Arran and Phillippa

Lesley said she and the family would like to repay the “wonderful people” who helped Veni and have set up an ambitious £150,000 fundraiser for a new ECMO machine.

She said: “It’s amazing what they have done, honestly. I can’t describe how brilliant they were and what they did for him. I brought some chocolates and goodies to the staff to thank them for what they did.

“His little heart is now managing by itself but there is some dead tissue there that will have to be burn off, which will probably be done in the next couple of weeks. But the staff have been amazing and done so much for us.”

A new machine would cost up to £150,000 but Lesley said the family is determined to raise that amount, “even if it takes years.”

To donate to the fundraiser, click here.

Lesley added: “God forbid another child needed one when Veni was on it. I think the next nearest one was in Leicester so it really could have been awful.

"We all feel like we have to do something and to each do our bit. We have already had so many family and friends supporting us and we just want to raise money for this machine."