Five-year-old Alex Boardman with his mum and dad, Nick Boardman and Marie Cartwright, at home in York

THE parents of a baby boy who had emergency heart surgery are staging a fundraising pantomime for the threatened hospital unit which saved his life Alex Boardman was only three-weeks-old when he  was rushed from York Hospital to Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) for vital surgery.

Alex was also suffering from a life-threatening condition known as transposition of the great arteries, causing blood to be pumped the wrong way through the heart.

He is now five-years-old, and there is little evidence of the condition which threatened Alex’s life, but parents Nick and Marie, of South Bank, York, wants to raise funds for the children’s heart  surgery department at LGI – which is threatened with closure under NHS reforms.

Mr Boardman, 38, said: “It was the midwife who came round after he wasn’t feeding very well and she noticed he was going grey around his fingernails.

“We took him to the walk-in centre in Monkgate and the doctor said we needed to go to hospital. They did tests and sent him straight to LGI.” The operation took place four days later after an  agonising wait for Alex to gain enough strength for the delicate surgical procedure.

Mr Boardman said: “My partner and I didn’t really have time to get our heads around it. Now you can’t even tell – he’s running around like a normal five-year-old.”

  Mr Boardman, a published playwright, now intends to stage a fundraising production of his own play based on the Robin Hood legend, which he last put on while living in Nottingham.

Money raised will be split between the fighting fund to help keep child heart surgery services in our region and the York-based Mia’s Memory – a group co-founded by his wife, which helps parents come to terms  with miscarriage.

“I’m just looking for people to get involved,” he said. “I need everything from actors to set builders and costume designers and even a venue.

“It’s my play so I don’t have to worry about copyright, but I would love some sponsorship too from people and businesses in York, if they can help.”

If you would like to sponsor the production or get involved in the pantomime, phone Nick or Marie  on 01904 670574.

9:25am Monday 30th April 2012 in News  By Richard Catton