Teenager to take part in Great North Swim just months after open heart surgery

A teenager born with complex congenital heart defects is taking part in the Great North Swim with his heart surgeon


Just months ago brave teenager Daniel Murray underwent life-saving open heart surgery.

Now the 16-year-old is preparing to take part in the Great North Swim this weekend with his surgeon Asif Hasan.

Daniel, of Seaton Delaval, Northumberland, was born with complex congenital heart defects, but he has not to let it hold him back in life.

The Whitley Bay High School pupil said: “I am surprised at how quickly I’ve recovered since my operation. I am quite excited about doing the swim, I’m not nervous.”

Daniel was diagnosed with transposition of the great arteries – a rare defect where the two main arteries going out of the heart are switched in position. He was also born with a hole in his heart. In December the teenager had surgery to put a 27mm metal valve in his heart.

Consultant paediatric cardiothoracic surgeon at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital, Mr Hasan, approached Daniel to see if he wanted to do the Great North Swim - a one mile race at Lake Windermere in the Lake District. Mr Hasan said: “Transposition of the great arteries is a life-long condition and Daniel is doing well. When he came to see me a few years ago I had no idea whether he would be able to swim, but I knew Daniel had a great spirit and could get over any physical problems.

“To see Daniel in his teenage years being able to do normal activities is a huge boost for me and I feel very proud that he has able to enjoy his life. I’m just one of a large team and to see something like this happen is great. I hope it shows other children who have had heart operations that they do not need to be held back.”

Daniel is raising money for the Children’s Heart Unit Fund (CHUF) as a way of thanking staff at the Freeman Hospital. To donate log on to www.justgiving.com/Dan4CHUF

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