Imagine your life being put on pause, frozen in time. I remember playing football at school. Everything started to go
blurry. I couldn't see straight. My head felt like a football being kicked over and over again. My mate Rob who's on the
team came up to me. I told him I felt sick and had to leave. My head hurt so much I couldn't see straight. I started to
worry because I never felt like this before.
The next day I went to see my GP. She told me something was wrong with my heart. I didn't understand most of the words
she used. I just knew something was wrong. My life has always been around football. It's one of the most important things
in my life really. I know some people just say this, but I really do want to play professionally. Ever since my father first played
football with me when I was a kid it's been my dream. All I could think about was the match at end of term. My team
depended on me. I would do whatever it takes not to miss it.
When I left school to have the scanning done I was in the middle of Miss Price's biology class. I didn't think I was going to be
learning more about the sort of stuff she’d been telling us about. They scanned my heart using something called ultra sound.
They put this cold gel on my chest. Ultrasound can’t be heard. I couldn’t hear it anyway. But it made some cool images of my
heart. I could see it beating inside my chest. I couldn't believe I was seeing my own heart – beating – live, on screen.
Then they took me into a room to show me another machine - called an MRI. The doctor said it used magnets. Everyone
knows about magnets – they stick things to fridges. But this magnet was so powerful it was like something out of the X-Men
or Heroes. It almost pulled a metal buckle on a belt out of the doctor’s hand when he got too close. What would that kind of
magnetic field do to me? They showed me pictures of fruit they scanned with it and told me the scanner uses magnetic fields
to see inside of it. Check out the movies we made here.
At the hospital I had to wear one of those funny dress things. It made me feel cold and stupid and I didn't want anyone to
see me in it. In the dressing room I almost didn't want to leave but I knew I had to get it over with. I thought about my
mates and football. I thought if something was wrong with my heart that maybe I wouldn't see them again. I thought the
worst thoughts. But I remembered what my father always used to say; to be somebody you have to conquer your fears. I
stepped out of the dressing room. I was ready to take on the magnet.
I was scared. I didn't know what the scanner was going to show inside of me. I lay on a narrow bed, and then they put a weird
contraption on my chest. They said it was a coil, but it didn’t look like any coil I’d ever seen. Then I put headphones on, the
machine whirred and I slid into this long tube. There were lights inside or it would have been really creepy. I stopped moving.
All I could hear was some squeaking. Then suddenly it started making a lot of noise. It sounded like someone was banging
the outside of the tube with a hammer. They said the noise was the magnetic field being changed around me to take the
pictures. But they played some wicked R&B and that made me feel better :) I was out of there before I knew it. But I still felt
funny inside. Was that the magnet or just my nerves? Wasn't sure what was comin next. Before I left they showed me some
of the images. It was cool to see the 3-D pictures of my heart on a computer screen. But also weird. It was MY heart – the
main thing that kept me alive. The thing that helped me on the football pitch. There it was – on a screen in front of me.
I worried about whether they would be able to fix me or not. Looking at those pictures kind of made me think of myself like
a machine. Like one of my robots. Would they be able to fix me? The pictures stayed in my head.
I don't remember much of the surgery cause I was asleep. I had this awesome dream. I was at the pitch, it was near the
end of the big match. I saw myself as one big heart pumping blood to my body. I kicked the ball down the field right over
the heads of the defense. The faster I moved, the more blood pumped to my body. No more headaches or blurred vision.
Blood was pouring through it. I felt fantastic. I was right at the edge of the goal and kicked straight on. The ball went right
through the goal keeper's legs and into the net. My team was all around me. Lots of hugs. I had won the game for them.
It felt good :-)
The anesthetic didn't wear off until an hour or so after surgery. I woke up to see my Mum and Dad next to me. It was the
first time I saw them together in ages. Rob and some girls from school were there too. I couldn't believe it. I felt soooooo
scared and alone at hospital but everybody I loved was there with me. I knew things were going to be alright.
The big match was upon me and my heart was pounding. I could feel it. But I felt unstoppable. It was kind of like in my
dream when I had the surgery, but loads better. This time it was for real. My dad came out for the match. I could feel him
watching me. This was no time for mistakes. Everyone was depending on me. Rob was out with a sprained ankle after
someone slide-tackled him. He already scored two goals that day. It was 2 all. I wasn't going to let it be a draw. We needed
this if we were going to win. There wasn't much time left. Seconds. I kicked the ball down the field, passed it to the right to
one of my mates. I then ran like lightening towards the goal. My heart was pounding again. He passed me the ball back. I
kicked to the right of the keeper. It was in the net before he even saw it coming. I felt great! It was over. I couldn't believe
Not long ago I was sitting in hospital scared that I'd never be able to play football again. But now I had won the match. I
could see my dad jumping up and down, laughing. He ran up and hugged me. I could feel his heart pounding too! That was
one of the best times of my life. Thank you to everyone who made it possible. I couldn't have done it without you. I'm
stronger because of it.
After the summer I’m going on to study for A’ levels. Before my trips to hospital, I’d never have thought it. But now I want to
do A’ levels in science subjects. I want to know more about how my body works. And how those machines in the hospital work
that took those wicked pics. I'm not so sure if I'll make it, but I want to go to university. If I don't play football professionally,
I'd like to be a sports doctor – maybe for football players or something like that. I used to think science was just in books, but
now I know different. There must be so many stories to learn. Peace!