Marathon effort by poorly Blackburn boy and pals

Huzaifah Valli, fourth right, with his school friends

Huzaifah Valli, fourth right, with his school friends

First published in News This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , Health Reporter

A BRAVE schoolboy who suffers from a heart defect managed to complete his own ‘marathon’ by walking four times round Ewood Park.

Huzaifah Valli, of East Park Avenue, Blackburn, raised £700 by walking for nearly two hours with seven of his Feniscowles Primary School classmates on Friday, to mark congenital heart defect awareness week.

The money will go to the cardiac ward at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, where Huzaifah has undergone three open heart operations.

As reported in the Lancashire Telegraph in last year, he was diagnosed with the complex condition at just two days old, and has a pacemaker fitted to keep his heart beating regularly.

The ten-year-old’s mum, Shamira, said: “Because of his condition he finds it very hard to walk and gets short of breath. Half an hour is like a marathon for him and he did us proud.

“He finds it really hard because he can’t play football and do things that other kids do, but things like this are what keep him going and keep him motivated.”

The total sponsorship money from the event is still being counted.

Huzaifah raised about £3,000 for Alder Hey last year, through several events and with help from the pathology team at the Royal Blackburn Hospital.

He underwent open heart surgery at Alder Hey at just eight-days-old, followed by a second operation after 18 months. In August 2012, doctors noticed his heart was skipping a beat and fitted a pacemaker to regulate his heart beat during further surgery which lasted nine hours.

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