A 16-year-old boy with congenital heart disease, who was able travel to America for treatment thanks to support from the community, has returned to Shoreham after four months.
Bradley Harrison and his mum, Jamie Eason, launched a desperate appeal earlier this year to raise £25,000 to get him to a consultation with a doctor in Cleveland, Ohio.
It came after Brad, a former Shoreham Academy student, was told by doctors in London that he might have to wait years for the heart and lung transplant he needed.
Ms Eason said she was told by the Royal Brompton Hospital that they could offer no further treatment to Brad until he was ‘too sick to get out of bed’ – but she refused to let that happen.
The #MendBradsHeart campaign was launched, with friends running marathons, holding football fun-days and raffles to help raise funds.
In June, Brad and his mum landed in America for treatment.
Instead of the consultation that was planned, doctors at the Cleveland Clinic immediately admitted Brad to an intensive care unit with acute heart failure and fluid overload.
Less than two weeks later, doctors carried out open heart surgery, performing a mitral valve replacement and a tricuspid valve repair.
Jamie explained that this means Brad will no longer need a heart and lung transplant, as it is hoped his lungs will be more than 90 per cent functional in a year or so with the right medical therapy.
Brad had his final appointment at the Cleveland Clinic on Thursday.
Ms Eason said: “The fantastic doctors there are happy with his progress.
“They told us Brad still has a long journey to health and that may include more surgery down the line.”
However she said Brad would be able to continue getting care from the Cleveland Clinic when it opens an outpatient medical facility in London in 2020.
The pair flew back to the UK on Friday.
Ms Eason thanked everyone in Cleveland for their ‘amazing kindness’ and ‘for going out of their way’ to make them feel comfortable.
She also thanked everyone in Shoreham who helped raise funds for their ‘tremendous support, encouragement, prayers and positivity’.
“It really means the world to myself, Brad and everyone else who loves him,” she said.