Fighter Alfie in great heart
Nigel and Jennifer Keys with Alex and Alfie.
11-MONTH-OLD Alfie Keys has come a long way.
Just a few months ago, the Bellanaleck toddler was recovering in a hospital in Birmingham after undergoing extensive open-heart surgery. It was his second bout of open-heart surgery. Now he's back home and getting ready for Christmas!
Born in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast in January, his first operation was when he was four days old after his parents were told by doctors there was a possibility of him "not making it" unless they worked on him. Incredibly, Alfie - who has a hole in his heart - has shown immense strength ever since.
His mother Jennifer, father Nigel and seven-year-old brother Alex are looking forward to Christmas together after a troublesome year.
"It took him a lot of time to recover, but he's doing really well now. He's getting regular check-ups. He's just a normal wee baby now, running around and doing the usual things which is nice to see. Last Christmas we weren't sure what way things were going to go, and this year it's just lovely," said Jennifer.
In February of next year, the Keys family plan a fund-raiser to raise money for the Children's Heartbeat Trust, which offers much-needed support to parents of children who have heart disease. The fund-raiser is called the 'Have a Heart Hooley' and will take place in Arney's Millennium Hall on February 10 at 7.30pm. There will be a four-course-meal and Tommy Owens will provide the music.
Jennifer, who is the Group Organiser for Children's Heartbeat in Fermanagh, is offering help to any parents in the county who may have a child with a similar problem. Anyone interested in joining the local support group or wants to buy tickets for February's Hooley can contact Jennifer on 077 45 068 571.
The Keys family say they will be "forever grateful" for all the help and assistance they have got from the local community throughout 2011.
This article appeared in Impartial Reporter 15 Dec 11