WATCH | Six weeks after open-heart surgery, teen climbs mammoth mountain for charity

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article

When 15-year-old Harvey Ackerley was admitted to the hospital last year with a burst appendix, his family never dreamed doctors would find two holes in his heart. 

The discovery came as a total shock to the family as their talented footballer had previously been super fit and showed no sign of a heart condition. 

Doctors believed the findings would put Harvey at risk of a heart attack before the age of 25, and the teen would eventually undergo a seven and a half hour surgery

Also see: WATCH | Teen goes viral after writing a moving essay on losing her mom for admissions at Harvard

The procedure involved cutting into his chest and removing his heart to repair the holes, leaving behind a huge scar. 

Remarkably, after just six weeks of recovery, the British teen, his mom, Gemma and dad, Gary, climbed the Snowdon Mountain, which at 1,085 metres, is the highest mountain in Wales.  

The teen said the climb was in honour of those who looked after him, as well as to raise funds for the Alder Hey Children's Charity which helped him raise the money he needed for his lifesaving surgery. 

The Alder Hey Children's Charity received £ 7000 (more than R135 000) in donations thanks to the teen's climb.

Watch the video above for more.  


Share your stories and questions with us via email at Anonymous contributions are welcome.

Don't miss a story!

For a weekly wrap of our latest parenting news and advice sign up to our free Friday Parent24 newsletter.

Follow us, and chat, on Facebook and Twitter.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24