A YOUNGSTER who was born with a heart defect that required surgeons to put a hole in his heart when he was only three weeks old has grown into an outgoing teen.

George Huntington, 15, has suffered with transposition of the great arteries since birth - a condition where the two main blood vessels leaving the heart are switched, meaning that blood around the body cannot reach the lungs to get oxygenated.

After getting rushed to Leeds General Infirmary - after doctors couldn’t diagnose the issue - George had open heart surgery at only three weeks old to correct the issue.

Unfortunately, due to complications, it was decided during the operation that it would be unsafe to continue, and he was left with a hole in his heart as a temporary solution while surgeons decided the next steps.

George’s mum, Sam Wooler, said: “George was placed in intensive care after the surgery and discussions took place about how they would keep the hole in his heart and have a different surgery when he’s around nine months old.

“During the next 24 hours George’s health deteriorated and the surgeon discussed taking George back to surgery with only a 50 per cent chance of survival, if not George would possibly not live.

“Now the fight was on for George to live through the night so he could have the operation.

“At 8am George was taken to theatre to fight for his life, and after eight-and-a-half hours he returned to intensive care and had survived surgery and now had to beat the recovery process.

“The battle was far from over - we were told as parents that George was highly likely to have developmental delays and maybe would not walk or talk until he was five.

“George defied this and was fully mobile and talking by his first birthday.”

The Outwood Academy Shafton pupil has continued to overcome every obstacle thrown at him - including another emergency operation when he was 12 - becoming an avid swimmer, footballer and an ambassador for other young people with heart defects.

“He’s doing amazing,” Sam added.

“Considering what he’s gone through he’s brilliant - everything he tries he excels at.

“He’ll decide to do something, and once he’s set his mind to it he’ll figure it out.

“But he’s still a typical teen, he likes gaming and spending time with his friends.

“It’s nice to see him live his life.

“You don’t know what’s around the corner - there’s not a lot of research into his condition so we can’t say what it’ll be like in years to come.

“We’re just trying to give him as good and normal a life as possible. If you look at him you wouldn’t tell there was anything wrong.”

His coach at the football club West End Terriers Under-15s, Dale Wainwright, said: “When he first came to us the other year he could barely handle ten minutes on the pitch.

“But as him and his heart have grown stronger he’s got so much better - now he plays a full match like everyone else.

“He works hard and really puts the effort in.”