Meet the patients: Jason Lawlor
Picture courtesy of The News, Portsmouth
"My nephew Jason Mark Lawlor was admitted to Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) when he was two weeks old, after being taken there in an incubator ambulance from St Mary’s Hospital, Portsmouth.
"Jason was diagnosed with a congenital heart condition called coarctation of aorta with pulmonary venous drainage. He was christened and taken to the operating theatre as soon as he arrived at GOSH. Jason’s heart surgery was performed by Professor McCarthy, Mr Stark and his team.
"The surgery carried a very high risk and there was a chance Jason would not survive. But thanks to the marvellous work of those surgeons Jason pulled through. Back then there was only one other child that had survived this type of operation.
"Sometime after his successful heart surgery, it was discovered that Jason had scoliosis and had to undergo a Harrington Rod operation. Jason’s surgery was performed at Southampton General Hospital (SGH) and was a success, even though he is disabled.
"Despite his disability, Jason went to mainstream school but unfortunately he was bullied a lot which led to him losing his self-confidence.
"Jason is now 38 years old and has just recently lost his Mum and Dad to cancer and is now living with his brother, aunt and uncle. Jason has just recently plucked up courage to tell us that his burning ambition is to learn to swim so we encouraged him to have private one-to-one lessons. Jason is doing very well, so much so that our local paper recently interviewed Jason. Despite all his medical problems, bullying and losing his parents Jason has shown so much courage and is now regaining his self-confidence.
"These days Jason is seen by the team at the Congenital Cardiac Centre at SGH. We are all thankful to the doctors and nurses at SGH for their expert care, kindness and support.
"Jason hopes that his experience will give inspiration and hope to others in a similar situation."