Welcome to our new TLC’s!

Published: Tue, 24th March 2020, 04:43:00 PM

Fantastic news, more TOFS’ local contacts (TLCs) to support you in your area!


Our TLCs are a small group of volunteer members, all parents, with experience of caring for a TOF child on a day-to-day basis. Spread across the UK, TLCs are available to listen, talk and offer support to new TOF parents, organise local informal get togethers, and take posters and leaflets into hospitals, especially where TOF surgery takes place. Some TLCs have shown further commitment by giving talks on behalf of TOFS and others are available to visit hospitals to support parents.

Our TLCs are themselves offered information on basic listening and counselling and are given support from both the TOFS office and a Trustee.

Introducing our latest additions to our team…

Rebecca Crofts, TLC for Yorkshire

Rebecca is mum to Cassie aged four and Bobby aged three. Bobby was born with long-gap OA/TOF, repaired at three months. He required numerous stretches and had tracheomalacia, requiring an aortopexy. They live with Daddy and their dog Barkley in Sheffield and are a busy family unit, working hard and juggling life, but playing lots too.

Rebecca Golding, TLC for South-East London and Surrey

Rebecca is a stay-at-home mum to Isabelle, who is almost two and her younger brother William, who is five months old and has additional medical needs of his own. Izzy had her repair at Evalina at two days old, which lasted 6 hours. It was later found out that she had been born with a previously unseen ‘Y Type’ TOF. Izzy has mild tracheomalacia which has improved with time, an unsafe swallow and severe dysmotility.

Laura Bell, TLC for Kent and Sussex

Laura is an artist and mother to Elliot, aged three and Orla, just two months old. Elliot was born with VACTERL but OA/TOF, anal atresia and urinary problems have the most impact on his daily life Laura says:

‘ Before Elliot was born I had very little medical knowledge, then this amazing little boy entered my life and introduced me to a whole new world of hospitals, medical terminology and all sorts of procedures and daily cares.’

Naomi Webborn, TLC for Wales

Naomi is a mum of three children aged nine, three and eleven months. Her eldest, George, was born with OA/TOF. George was diagnosed at birth and taken straight to UHW in Cardiffwhere he was operated on at two days old and had a dilatation at around seven months old. He has had lots of hospital visits and stays with tracheomalacia, stridors and bronchitis over the years, as well as many barium swallows.

Claire Burnside, TLC for Northern Ireland

Claire is mum to Olivia, 13 years old, who was born with long-gap oesophageal atresia and a bicuspid aortic valve. She spent the first nine months of her life in the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children as she was unable to have her repair surgery until she was five months old and then became very unstable with reflux. Olivia had a fundoplication at seven months old.

Cara Macdonald, TLC for Norwich & Norfolk

Cara is mum to Barnaby 11 and Ted 13 and lives in Norwich with husband Duncan.  Barnaby was born with Long Gap OA and had a repair at three months old but then went on the have a resection at age three. In-between those he had x2 Nissen’s and an array of treatments and procedures! Cara is really looking forward to helping support families in her area.

Becky Panting, TLC for Leicester 

Becky is mum to Thomas, born 2018 with OA/TOF.  Thomas also has GORD and has had dilatations and hospital admissions for choking episodes.

Kim Birkett, TLC for Glasgow & Scottish Borders

Kim is mum to two girls aged 22 and 18, and Spike, her 16-year-old reoccurring H-type TOF.  Spike was diagnosed at 14 days old after getting transferred to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. After initial good progress, Spike left hospital 8 days after his first operation, however due to recurrent chest infections and weight loss he was readmitted to hospital where it was found that his H-Type TOF had rejoined. After another operation, a gastrostomy, tracheostomy and a long stay in hospital Spike was discharged and he was expected to have no exercise tolerance at all in the furture. Moving forward 16 years, Spike plays rugby league for Scotland, rugby union for his local team and is fit and well, although still not a big eater!

Tracey Fish, TLC for Southampton

Tracey is mum to son James, born in 2013 with vACTERl.  James is a TOF with a short gap OA (he was repaired as a short gap OA, although the surgeons did have lengthy discussions on if he was a long or short gap, and later revealed they should have treated him as a long gap). James was successfully at school until the recent Covid-19 issue. Tracey is also mum to 4 year old Eleanor.

TOFS is incredibly reliant on the expertise and skills of our volunteers and we need more! If you are interested in getting involved please email us at


We are recruiting in the following areas: Aberdeen, Hull, Birmingham, Brighton, Oxford and Londonderry, Northern Ireland

© Tracheo-Oesophageal Fistula Support
TOFS is a Registered Charity in England and Wales (327735) and a Private Company Limited By Guarantee without Share Capital, registered in England and Wales (2202260).
Registered address: TOFS, St. George’s Centre, 91 Victoria Road, Netherfield, Nottingham NG4 2NN.
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