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Brave boy becomes firefighting footballer ahead of heart surgery

Brave boy becomes firefighting footballer ahead of heart surgery

Saturday 18 May 2019

Brave boy becomes firefighting footballer ahead of heart surgery


A brave seven-year-old boy with a serious heart defect has achieved his dream of tackling blazes and footballers ahead of his third major surgery.

Jayden Baselgia was born six weeks early, weighing just three pounds and ten ounces, and has already undergone two heart surgeries.

Babies born prematurely are at greater risk of life-threatening conditions after birth and Jayden’s parents received the devastating news that he had a serious heart defect shortly after his birth in February 2012.

At just six days old, Jayden was flown via emergency air ambulance to Southampton General Hospital for heart surgery. He underwent surgery a second time before he had turned one to have an artificial artery implant. As he grows, Jayden’s artificial artery will only last so long before he must undergo heart surgery for a third time to replace it - a wait that will see his condition deteriorate.

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Pictured: Jayden's wish involved firemen and footballers.

Despite his illness, the little boy is described as a ball of energy. His mum, Jannine, reached out to Make-A-Wish UK, a charity which grants wishes for children with critical illnesses.

Jayden's family wanted him to have a day of quality time and to create some fun and positive memories to help keep his spirits high as they wait for his next surgery. 

Make-A-Wish volunteers visited Jayden to find out what his 'One True Wish' was and the little boy said he wanted "to kick a football around with a team who wear red shirts in a stadium and be a fireman!"

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Pictured: Jayden got to kick the ball with Jersey FA.

Make-A-Wish teamed up with Jersey Football Association and the Fire Service to create Jayden’s perfect day. The little boy's wish finally came true last month when he got to spend time with the football team, as well as visiting the Fire Service HQ. 

“I didn’t tell Jayden the plan until the day and, when we arrived, he said, ‘My wish has come true!," Jayden's mum said.

The little boy got to walk on the football pitch and tackle the players. "Everyone was clapping and cheering!" Jayden said. "I was a mascot and had my own kit. I shook hands with all the players and then I went in a big red fire engine and pressed the button that made the lights and sirens go off."

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Pictured: Jayden's wish couldn't have been complete without a picture with the Fire crew.

Lucy Even, Jersey Football Association Collas Crill Community Coach, commented, “We at the Jersey FA are really proud and excited to be able to make Jayden’s wish come true.”

Dawn Ellis, Jayden’s Wishgranter, commented: "No child should miss out on the hope, joy and wonder of childhood through illness and we hope the happiness and excitement of Jayden’s wish will help him and his family for a long time to come. If you know a child with a critical illness, you can refer them for their own incredible One True Wish on the Make-A-Wish website."

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