A schoolboy told today how a broken wrist saved his life – when hospital tests revealed a potentially-fatal heart condition.
James Wishart, 11, was devastated when he shattered the joint during a judo training session because it would rule him out of the sport for weeks.
But while receiving hospital treatment doctors noticed his unusual heartbeat and referred him to a consultant.
He was then diagnosed with a heart condition called subaortic stenosis, a tightness below the valve that lets blood out of the heart.
Doctors told the James’ parents Hayley and Steve that the condition could have killed their son if it was not revealed by his judo accident.
They added that the exercise at his judo sessions had actually been making the condition worse because it was making his heart work harder.
James’ mother, Hayley, 40, said: “As James was growing up a membrane was growing tighter and tighter over his aortic valve, which takes blood from the heart.
“It was getting so tight it would have eventually caused him to collapse – we have been calling his wrist his lucky break, because it really was.”
James, from Winterbourne, Bristol, underwent life-saving open heart surgery in September last year.
After spending months recovering, the young lad was able to attend his first judo session earlier this week.
Hayley, a teaching assistant added: “It was a shock when doctors told us he had a very serious heart condition.
“It was incredibly luckily that it was picked up. We owe his life to the doctors and surgeons who operated on him on what should have been his first day at secondary school.”
James, who has now had to give up his second favourite sport, squash, said: “I feel very lucky to be here today and I now realise how precious a life is.
“Judo has always been my passion and knowing that it has effectively saved my life has made me want to continue it even more.
“I hope that in the future I will continue to do my beloved sport and that I will have a long, healthy and active life.
“I hope that my story will inspire others to be positive in their outlook and will help the British Heart Foundation to continue doing their fantastic work.”