First day at school will be extra special for boy born with two holes in his heart

Finlay at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Finlay at Great Ormond Street Hospital. - Credit: Archant

A four-year-old boy who twice underwent major heart surgery just weeks after he was born will start school in September.

Finlay is starting school in September

Finlay is starting school in September - Credit: Archant

Finlay, from Papworth Everard, will join his big brother Charlie in the playground and mum Cassie says her “cheeky chappie” can’t wait for his big day.

“We have no doubt that Finlay will have a ball,” said Cassie.

“If you saw him, you would have no idea what he’s had to deal with so early on in life. He’s a very cheeky chappie with bundles of energy and a real love for life, so he will be in his element making lots of new friends.”

When Finlay was just three weeks old, doctors discovered that he had a congenital heart defect in which the two main blood vessels leaving the heart (the pulmonary artery and the aorta) were transposed. The condition causes low oxygen levels and in Finlay’s case it was extremely severe as he also had two holes in his heart.

The odds were stacked against Finlay and in order for him to have any chance of survival surgeons at Great Ormond Street Hospital had to perform two major heart operations in his first month of life.

At his last hospital check-up though there was good news for the family.

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“We recently took Finlay for a check-up and thankfully his heart is fine and the doctors are happy with his progress,” said Cassie.

“It’s the best outcome we could have hoped for. As a family, I feel like we’ve come a long way.”

Throughout his hospital treatment, Finlay’s family were supported by The Sick Children’s Trust which provide them with free accommodation at its Home from Home setting.

The charity supports families with seriously ill children across 10 homes in the UK.

“It was such a dark time for us, but thanks to the support of trust, we were able to stay together, just minutes away from Finlay’s hospital bed-side and for that I’ll always be grateful to the charity. Knowing that we had a base to leave our things and come back to every day to eat, shower and sleep made such a difference and let us concentrate on being there for Finlay.”

Tina Thake who helped to support the family, said: “We’re so pleased to hear that Finlay is about to start primary school. We can’t believe how much he has grown. We wish him the best of luck.”