Lucky boy's heart defect spotted

IT was just a routine check-up at the doctors – but for toddler Edward Blaza, it was a trip that saved his life.The youngster was only at the surgery because he was complaining of stomach ache, but parents were given the shock news that a heart murmur had been diagnosed in their two-and-a-half-year-old son.

IT was just a routine check-up at the doctors – but for toddler Edward Blaza, it was a trip that saved his life.

The youngster was only at the surgery because he was complaining of stomach ache, but parents were given the shock news that a heart murmur had been diagnosed in their two-and-a-half-year-old son.

It was a frightening prognosis for Edward's parents, Adrian and Jacqui, to take in. On the other hand, it was an incredible stroke of fortune that his condition had been picked up.

An operation at Guys Hospital in London followed before Edward, now aged six, underwent in July this year a second successful operation, lasting four hours, that saw him on the road to a full recovery.


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Jacqui, from Trimley St Mary, near Felixstowe, said: "Edward was only two-and-a-half and he had this tummy problem. The doctor put a stethoscope on his stomach and asked me which paediatrician he was under.

"I looked surprised and said 'He isn't'. I couldn't understand what the doctor meant. But he then turned round to me and said Edward has got a severe heart murmur.

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"We were obviously shocked and he had an operation almost immediately to release the pressure. That was successful and it was then a case of waiting for a second operation when he was older.

"He had the operation in July this year when titanium pieces of mesh, like spider webs, were implanted into his heart."

Edward is now on the road to recovery, but his parents know it could have been so different.

"If we hadn't gone to the doctors that day, I dread to think what might have happened," said Jacqui.

"I have read of young children dying unexpectedly and really Edward's heart murmur should have been picked up at birth."

The past few years have been trying for the Blaza family, but the future is now looking rosy and Edward's love of sport – and in particular speedway – is playing a big part in his enjoyment of life.

He goes to Trimley St Mary Primary School, along with sister Bobbi, nine, and is a big Ipswich Witches fan, and in particular of Scott Nicholls, the skipper and world number seven.

"We took Edward to Scott's testimonial meeting before his second operation. He is a massive fan of Scott's and Scott is his number one hero," said Jacqui.

"We had a picture taken and Edward was thrilled to meet this rider who he sees so much on television and charges round the garden pretending to be.

"Scott was so approachable and he made Edward's day. We can't thank him enough."

Nicholls said it had been a pleasure to meet the six-year-old. "The little lad has obviously gone through a lot at such a young age," he added.

"It was great to meet him and I'm glad he is making such a recovery. It was my pleasure to have a picture taken with him and I hope he continues to support the Witches."

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