Budding young south Warwickshire boxer is down but not out - The Leamington Observer

Budding young south Warwickshire boxer is down but not out

Leamington Editorial 2nd May, 2024   0

A BOXING-mad youngster from Leamington has vowed to pack a punch as a trainer after his dreams of fighting competitively were dashed following heart surgery.

Ten-year-old Charlie was born at Birmingham Women’s Hospital in 2013 with a heart defect, which means he can’t risk being hit in the chest and his aspirations of lacing up the gloves in the ring are now out for the count.

But following expert cardiac care at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Charlie refuses to be knocked down and has pledged to build a career as a professional trainer.

Charlie said: “I asked my doctor if I could fight competitively but he said no as I can’t get hit in the chest. I said ‘that’s fine, I will be a coach instead’.”

Dad Kurt continued: “We’re so proud of Charlie for having such a positive attitude and for not giving up. Charlie also started campaigning to have a defibrillator in his gym, as he knows how important it is to have the right equipment in the right place.”

Charlie was born in November 2013 with a transposition of the great arteries, a heart defect where the two main blood vessels leaving the heart are swapped over. He had surgery at just two hours old to reconnected his main blood vessels to their proper ventricles, a procedure called arterial switch.

Dad Kurt added: “We found out at our 20-week scan that Charlie had a heart condition. We were really worried, but we had a walk around the Women’s Hospital before Charlie was born and the cardiac team came to meet us to talk us through what would happen.

“When he was a week old, he was then moved to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Children’s Hospital and was sent for open heart surgery. It was a really horrific time, but the staff at the hospital were absolutely amazing.

“The PICU and cardiac team really looked after us as a family. They made sure we had a place to stay and even managed to get Charlie home for Christmas. We can’t put into words how thankful we are.”

Following his big brother’s footsteps, Charlie became a massive fan of boxing and regularly practiced at his local gym. And despite his dreams of boxing now on the ropes, he has already started helping with coaching at his club.

And his campaign to install a defibrillator in the gym is already punching above its weight, with electrical wholesaler YESSS Electrical surprising him at the gym recently to present the new equipment.

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