Rowan (10) an inspiration to children everywhere

Rowan Venni on the climbing wall
Rowan Venni on the climbing wall
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A few weeks ago this happy lad, smiling as he tackles a climbing wall, was in a London hospital undergoing major open heart surgery.

The worried parents of 11-year-old Rowan Venni kept a bedside vigil, knowing there was a chance the plucky youngster would not come through the ordeal.

But now the inspirational Sutton St James boy has made a complete recovery and on Friday hosted a non-uniform day at his school to thank Great Ormond Street Hospital for “fixing me”.

Tydd St Mary Primary School pupil Rowan was born nine weeks prematurely, suffering from a congenital heart condition and missing a valve.

He was operated on at two days old, but the missing valve still meant his blood constantly mixed. This would cause breathlessness and get worse the older he became.

Throughout his young life Rowan has suffered and has undergone regular check-ups.But he never complained.

Mum Janet and dad Stephen knew he would eventually need keyhole surgery through his ribs but last October an MRI scan showed things had got more serious and he needed new heart valves.

On March 12 he went back to Great Ormond Street and had full cardiac surgery to replace his pulmonary valve and repair his tricuspid valve.

Although the operation was a success, it was a “horrible procedure” and Rowan’s lung collapsed at one point.