Rowan wants to make life better for others

Rowan with mum Janet and sister Ruby
Rowan with mum Janet and sister Ruby
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Brave Rowan Venni (10) was back at Tydd St Mary Primary School within six weeks of open heart surgery.

The Sutton St James youngster is now playing football and has announced his ambition to ride stock cars and go snow boarding.

Rowan in hospital ANL-140523-171320001

Rowan in hospital ANL-140523-171320001

While recuperating from his surgery, he and sister Ruby (9) decided they wanted to raise funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital as a thank you for treating him.

Ruby had been constantly by Rowan’s side during his recovery and the pair, knowing a climbing wall was coming to the school on Friday, organised a non-uniform day.

Each pupil made a donation of at least £1 and the siblings also sold ice pops and sweets, raising £300.

Rowan, who celebrated his birthday on April 6, said: “There are lots of children with lots of different problems. Some are lucky like me and get fixed, others need help and support at Great Ormond Street.

“My life is so much better thanks to the hospital. I can now play football and have joined the Tydd St Mary team. I want to say thank you to them.

“It would be fantastic to make sure their good work continues and to ensure another child is given what I have been – a normal life.”

He said the only thing that he really didn’t like about his whole ordeal was “the disgusting medicine” he had to take in the days after surgery.

He will always be under the wing of Great Ormond Street and undergo regular check-ups, but is now totally off all medication and should lead a normal, healthy life.

Last Sunday Rowan made his long-awaited debut for Tydd St Mary Under 12s and was able to play a whole half in a fitting 1-0 victory.

Mum pays tribute to her inspirational son

Mum Janet told the Free Press: “Rowan was so calm about everything but we knew we could have lost him. It is a horrible thing for a parent to go through.

“His bravery really tugs at your heart. He has been absolutely brilliant throughout and has never complained or moaned.

“Throughout his life his condition has never stopped him doing things.

“He has just got on with everything, taking it all in his stride with 110 per cent positivity.

“He is an inspiration and we are very proud of him.

“Even in his hospital bed the day after the operation he told me he had never felt so good in his whole 

Janet said the support from Great Ormond Street was amazing: “We are privileged in this country to have somewhere like that.

“The school have been brilliant too. Every teacher there is special.”

Head so proud of ‘brave little boy’

Tydd St Mary Primary School headteacher Sonya Ripley told the Free Press: “The way Rowan has handled everything has been truly inspirational.

“He showed no fear and quickly wanted to return to school. He has thrown himself back into school life 100 per cent and even sat his SATS tests.He is a very brave little boy.

“As soon as he got better he was thinking of others, planning this event. All the pupils at the school were delighted to see him back.”