Support appeal set up for brave Lowestoft boy
AT the tender age of five, Charlie Wood has endured more hospital visits than most of us could ever imagine.
But after five life-saving open heart operations, the Lowestoft youngster has bravely battled on against the odds defying doctors' expectations.
When Charlie was born at the James Paget University Hospital in December 2006, joy quickly turned to alarm for his family when he began to turn blue.
Urgent tests were carried out which showed he had severe congenital heart defects (CHD),
He was rushed to the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) in London to undergo open heart surgery – beginning a series of operations and medical procedures that continued throughout the first year of his life.
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In early May 2007, the Charlie Wood Heart Appeal was set up to support the GOSH children's charity and since then, a series of events have been organised, led by his dad Steve, with more than �15,000 raised so far.
Now, in a bid to raise awareness of CHD and provide more help to GOSH, Mr Wood is planning his latest fund-raising event with a charity night at Uplands Community Centre, Carlton Colville.
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There will be a raffle and an auction – with lots including signed F1 merchandise – and family entertainment.
Mr Wood, 40, said: 'Charlie's fight and the fight of all babies to survive CHD has made me realise that life is very delicate and that they need our help to survive.
'This is my drive and my family's drive to raise as much money as possible for GOSH and to see more parents leave hospital with their babies.'
After nearly five years without surgery, Charlie's 'biggest operation of all' took place earlier this year, according to Mr Wood.
After seven hours in theatre Charlie came out fighting and spent less than a week on intensive care and was home in 12 days.
Charlie, who lives with his mum in Lorne Road and now attends Fen Park Primary School, was 'one brave lad', Mr Wood added. 'He is a little fighter, he really is. He does not let anything beat him.'
Doors open for the charity event on Saturday, October 6 at 6pm. Tickets are now on sale and cost �5 for adults and �3 for under 12s. For information, ring 07810 350 383 or visit www.charliewoodheartappeal.org.uk