More funds needed to secure '˜life-saving surgery' for Shoreham teenager

After months of fundraising, a Shoreham teenager with congenital heart disease has landed in America for treatment.

Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 12:09 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 4:57 pm

But more than £200,000 is still needed to get Brad Harrison the surgery he needs to save his life, his mother said.

His family have already raised more than £25,000 to fly the 16-year-old to America for a consultation.

In March Brad, a former Shoreham Academy student, was told by doctors at the Royal Brompton Hospital that it could offer no further treatment other than a heart and lung transplant, but only at a later date.

Brad Harrison with mum Jaimie Eason

His mother Jaimie Eason said: “We were told that they were going to wait until Brad was too sick to get out of bed and do an urgent heart and lung transplant.

“I understand it’s a massive risk with the surgery and they believe Brad’s quality of life isn’t bad enough to warrant it now. But if they wait he could be too weak for the surgery and what if there’s no donor?

“As soon as it’s urgent there’s no time anymore.

“I won’t just sit and watch him get sick, he’s my son and nothing’s more important to me.”

After seeking a second opinion, a doctor in Ohio told Jaimie that he might be able to offer Brad an operation which would delay the transplant – and so the #MendBradsHeart campaign was launched to get him to America.

Numerous community events were held to help raise the £25,000 needed.

Friends ran marathons, Southwick FC held a football funday and race days and raffles were held.

Writing online, Jaimie said: “Thanks to all of you we can get Bradley to America and hopefully have him healthy again.

“We cannot tell you how grateful we are, thank you.”

Last week she and Brad flew to the USA and arrived at the Cleveland Clinic.

On arrival, Jaimie said Brad was admitted to an intensive care unit with acute heart failure and fluid overload.

Jaimie said he had lost seven kilos of fluid in just over four days and was feeling ‘better than he had in eight months’.

She said: “They hope to carry out a procedure this week after getting him optimally healthy and, if favourable, they intend to carry out open heart surgery straight away to replace his mitral valve and repair his tricuspid valve.”

If doctors are able to operate, it will mean that Brad will no longer need a heart and lung transplant, she said.

Jaimie said: “We are now faced with the need to raise over £200,000 to get Brad the surgery he needs to save his life.”

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