John Gray case study

John Gray and his mum, BHF supporters

Just 14 days after he was born, John Gray Junior was rushed to hospital for his first heart operation. Six months later he had open heart surgery. Our research helped to make these life saving operations possible.

Thanks to those operations John is spending Christmas with his family – John is why we fight. 

John was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot

Only two days after he was born, John Gray Junior's mum Bridget and dad Jon noticed his little nose was blue and he found it hard to breathe. He was rushed to hospital at just two weeks old, where doctors diagnosed him with Tetralogy of Fallot. Two days later he was on a flight to Birmingham Children’s Hospital for treatment.

He wasn’t even three weeks old and had been nicknamed by the nurses the ‘Smurf Baby’ because of his blue nose.


Another operation at six months 

Six months later John had his first open heart surgery lasting eight hours. 

“Both his daddy and I thought we were going to burst with worry, nothing can prepare you for the total fear and emotion - our hearts were breaking,” said his mum Bridget. 

“It was terrible for us and his older brother Eunan too.” 


Our heart warrior 

“He is now awaiting a valve replacement but with regular care and check-ups, he is just like a regular three year old. He's our wee heart warrior!” said Bridget.

“As most mothers I never thought I would have a child with a heart defect, but since it happened awareness is a big part of our lives. We know that BHF research has helped save John’s life and the lives of babies like him.” 


How you can help

 Donate just £5 to our research to ensure more families in Northern Ireland are together this Christmas. 


Alternatively text  HEART to 70444 to donate £5 today. You will be charge £5, plus one standard network rate message. BHF NI will receive 100%. By texting to donate you agree we may call and text you about our fundraising activity and ways you can support us. If you’d rather we didn’t, text NO COMMS BHF to 70060