A LINTHWAITE mother is to seek a second opinion after being told her son was “too young to go on the heart transplant list”.
George Sutcliffe suffers from rare heart condition, hypoplastic left heart syndrome – which means he was born with only half a heart.
Doctors abandoned a 10-hour operation on 12-year-old George earlier this month.
His family have now met with consultants at Leeds General Infirmary to discuss the future.
George’s mother, Rayne, 42, said: “We have been told he is not yet old enough to go on the transplant list.
“Doctors have said they are going to monitor him and see how it goes.
“It is my opinion that he will have to be hospitalised before he goes in but I’m going to get a second opinion up in Newcastle.
“How old does he have to be?
“They have decided that he is doing okay at the moment and he is not ill enough to go on the list and therefore won’t be considered.
“I mentioned the prospect of a mechanical heart and the cardiologist told me it is still in the pioneering stage and being developed, therefore there is a lot that is still unknown about it.
“The LGI do not fit mechanical hearts and that surgery would have to take place at either the heart unit in Newcastle or Guy’s Hospital, London.
“This means that he won’t be able to go back to school full-time and will only be able to go part-time in January.”
Rayne, who is a crew member for the St John Ambulance, has been on unpaid leave from her work in order to care for George, and will not be able to return to her job in January.
George’s dad, Carl, a self-employed builder, works long hours to make up for the time spent at hospital visits.
According to Rayne, George spends the week doing homework sent by his teachers at Colne Valley High School and playing in his converted caravan.
She continued: “He is very breathless and gets breathless from talking or being out on either really hot or cool days.
“At the meeting, they did a full heart check and found that his heart seems to be functioning. For what little part there is of it, it is functioning well.
“What they found is that he is outgrowing his shunts, the tool that is feeding blood and therefore oxygen around the body as he grows. It is not carrying the amount of oxygen that his body needs.
“George is so positive about everything and he helps us keep positive.”
His operation was abandoned two weeks ago as surgeons declared him inoperable due to an artery being too small and too far back.
The couple, who have two other sons Ted, 10, and Josh, 20, and have major concerns about the possible closure of the Leeds Heart Unit as it means that the nearest specialist able to deal with George’s condition, would be in Newcastle or Birmingham.
The decision to potentially close the children’s heart unit is a Government initiative to reduce the number of England’s children’s heart units, from 11 to five.
There are four possible combinations for the country’s units and only one includes keeping the centre at Leeds General Infirmary open.