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Thursday, 18 December 2014

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Workington man thanks medics for saving his life

A man who nearly died as a baby from a rare heart condition has thanked the doctors who saved his life.

James Lomas photo
James Lomas

James Lomas was born with a back-to-front heart which meant that it was unable to function properly.

At just 15 weeks old he underwent life-saving open heart surgery at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.

Now, 30 years after the operation, James has raised cash for the hospital’s Children’s Heart Unit Fund to thank them for keeping him alive.

James, of Rydal Street in Workington, has had a number of smaller operations during his life and is on daily medication to control his condition. He still goes to Freeman Hospital once a year for specialist doctors to examine his heart.

The 30-year-old said: “I was born with a heart condition. It wasn’t functioning right due to it being back to front so doctors operated on me and put the pipes in my heart the different way.”

He decided to raise money for the cause because, when he reached his 10th birthday, his mum, Elizabeth Davison, donated £500 to the hospital fund after holding a darts competition.

Sadly last year, James’ mum died from cancer, so he decided to hold his own charity event to raise cash as well as honouring her memory. Held at Workington’s British Legion, it raised £1,116 and included a raffle, auction of two life-sized teddy bears and an egg dumping competition.

“I just want to say thank you to them [Freeman’s Hospital] for saving my life as without them I wouldn’t be here,” he said.

The condition affects James’ day-to-day life because he is unable to work and has to take things easy.

“I can’t push things to the limit,” he said. “And I can’t stress myself out as it makes my heart beat faster.”

He said that although he would love to do another fundraiser in the future, he might have to wait until his 40th birthday as the organisation of this event exhausted him.

James wants to thank local businesses who donated prizes including Katie’s Kitchen, Haighs Workington Ltd, Jeff Taylors and Tony Marks. A special thank you was also paid to Chris Richards who organised things.

Anybody who would like to donate to the charity can do so through the website www.chuf.org.uk

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