A father had a tattoo on his chest to commemorate the scar his son had suffered during a life-saving heart surgery.
When Leanne Watts was 28 weeks pregnant with her son Joey, she was told that he had a rare condition called supravalvular aortic stenosis.
The heart defect causes the large vessel, which carries the blood from the heart to the rest of the body, to contract.
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On May 23, six-year-old Joey from Beverley, East Yorkshire, underwent an eight-hour operation at Leeds Children's Hospital to expand the blood vessel. An intervention with a one in ten chance of survival.
The surgery, which has so far proved successful for Joey, caused him to contract a 9-cm scar in the center of his chest.
"When Joey saw the scar, he just said," Is this the place they cut me to repair my heart? "Said Mrs. Watts.
" We told him it should be something to be proud of, and he should not be ashamed of what happened to him.
"All these warriors should be proud of their scars and everything they achieve in life."
On May 29, the day after Joey was released from hospital, his father, Martin Watts, went to a local tattoo parlor to have a copy of his son's scar tattooed on his chest.
Mr. Watts had also tattooed his son's heartbeat on his chest, to the right of the scar design.
The Watts family supports the #ScarSelfie campaign sponsored by the Children's Heart Surgery Fund (CHSF), which encourages cardiac surgery patients to share images of their scars on social media.
The campaign is also sponsoring donations to CHSF to help the Leeds Congenital Heart Unit at Leeds Children's Hospital.
"We fully understand that it's a very personal choice to show a scarring," said Sharon Milner, CEO of CHSF. 19659022] "We are overwhelmed with the bravery and resilience of the hundreds of CHD patients undergoing surgery and life-saving interventions at the Leeds Congenital Heart Unit daily – like Joey."
Joey's older brother, seven-year-old Harley, was diagnosed with a condition at the age of fourteen.
Harley has to undergo the same surgery later this year, while Joey will need three more surgeries Expand his lung branches and stretch his blood vessels.
"You enjoy the way surgeons in Leeds treated Joey," said Mrs. Watts. "It'll be just as scary, but they've given you reason to believe."
"I thought superheroes wore cloaks, they do not wear surgical scrubs and smocks.
Supravalvular aortic stenosis is associated with William syndrome, a congenital disorder that can cause heart problems.
"It is a very rare condition and is related to William syndrome, for some reason the boys do not have William syndrome, but they have the heart disease of a child with William," explained Mrs. Watts.