Child of Courage nominee – Alfie Donnelly
Alfie Donnelly has multiple, complex heart conditions that have left him needing four lots of open heart surgery, but he is rarely without a big beaming smile on his face.
Earlier this year the 10-year-old was also diagnosed with a rare lymphatic vessel condition for which there is no treatment. His lymphatic system is completely blocked, which makes him feel weak and ill.
Yet Alfie, who lives in Penkridge with his parents Claire and Antony, is still playing football for a disabilities team at Aston Villa that has been adapted to be low impact and to allow for lots of rest.
Alfie’s mum, Claire Donnelly, said: “We had the diagnosis about Alfie’s lymphatic system however his heart was also starting to struggle and he desperately needed his fourth open heart surgery. Due to the new added complications this was very high risk and we were told recovery would be long and hard.
“The surgeons and consultants decided that even with the risks surgery would give Alfie the chance to live his life and do the things he enjoys doing.
“In May Alfie had his fourth very long and hard open heart surgery and spent six weeks recovering. For four of those weeks he had chest drains in. But he never moaned or complained.
“He was walking around with his chest drains in a little shopping trolley and he was playing with the other children and helping and encouraging them to get out of bed and walk around.
“He has surprised everyone with his recovery and we are working hard to build his strength back up.
“We don’t know what the future holds but we live every day making memories with our very brave and caring boy.”
She added: “At the moment Alfie is probably the best he’s been for a long time. We’re trying to make lots of memories with him while he’s doing this well.”
Claire has nominated Alfie as a Child of Courage in the Your Heroes Awards.