VIDEO: Meet the Shoreham teen who needs a new heart

A teenager who needs a heart and lung transplant has been told to wait until his condition worsens before he can have the treatment.

Tuesday, 17th April 2018, 6:09 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 3:30 am

Football-loving Brad Harrison, 16, from Shoreham, has congenital heart disease which means the right side of his heart is extremely weak.

After struggling to breathe he was told by doctors at the Royal Brompton Hospital in October last year that he also has pulmonary hypertension which has caused his lungs to be irreversibly damaged.

In March, the hospital said it could offer no further treatment other than a heart and lung transplant, but only at a later date.

Brad, 16, and mum Jaimie keep each other positive.

Mum 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.”

Jaimie has sought a second opinion and a doctor in Ohio has told her he might be able to offer Brad an operation which would delay the transplant.

Now, the family has launched a #MendBradsHeart campaign to raise £25,000 to fly to America for a consultation.

A teacher at Shoreham Academy, Brad's old school, and a family friend ran Sunday’s Brighton Marathon and a football funday is planned at Southwick FC on May 6.

Brad was born with heart disease and a collapsed lung which was initially misdiagnosed as asthma.

He underwent two operations before the age of four, but then until the age of 14 he was incredibly active, playing for Shoreham Academy’s highly successful football team, reaching a national schools semi-final only a year ago.

Brad said: “Obviously it’s hard, I loved playing football but I’ve just got to take everything in my stride.”

"I try to take my time up with other stuff, I spend a lot of time with my family and just focus on my health.

"Me and mum stay positive for each other."

Sadly, Brad has now also had to give up an apprenticeship at a hairdressers in Brighton.

Calling her son 'an amazing kid', Jaimie added: "I won't just give up, this is my son's life, there's nothing more important.

"I just don't feel like every avenue has been exhausted. We've basically been left on our own, with no help or support.

"This is a 16-year-old boy we're talking about, he's too young to be left on his own."

A spokesperson from Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust said: “Bradley is currently in a stable condition on appropriate medical treatment.

“We follow nationally agreed guidelines on listing patients for transplant, continue to monitor Bradley closely and do not expect him to need a transplant in the next five to ten years.”