After a number of set backs brave Banbridge heart hero Matthew Cully is recovering well following surgery for a new pacemaker.
It’s the fourth pacemaker the 15 year old has had, the first one having been inserted just three hours after he was born.
Matthew’s mum Carol first learned of her son’s congenital heart condition at her 22 week pregnancy scan.
Carol said: “He is a real wee miricle and has come on by leaps and bounds.”
Last year however, Matthew’s parents were told his pacemaker wasn’t working right and he would have to go to Birmingham for surgery.
While waiting Carol could see him detoriating.
Matthew’s surgery was thencancelled three times before he got the final go ahead.
“It was a hard time but we just had to remember there’s always someone worse off than you,” said Carol.
Carol was delighted with the Ronald McDonald house which provided them with free ‘home away from home’ accommodation while they awaited Matthew’s surgery.
“Matthew will need more surgery,” said Carol, “but he’s always really brave - I suppose he has known no different.”
Carol has been grateful for support from The Children’s Heartbeat Trust, Matthew’s consultant and also life-long friend MLA Jo-Anne Dobson.
Mrs Dobson said: “Matthew has been through so much but never ever grumbles or says why me .
“I have known Matthew, his mum Carol, dad David and Grandad Leslie for many years and he is certainly a wee fighter.
“He started off his care in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children and has not only had to cope with his surgery but also, because of the decision to end children’s cardiac services in Belfast, to cope with travelling across to Birmingham.
“This makes things doubly difficult for his family but I am proud to stand with them and support young Matthew – Banbridge’s own heart hero!”