Look at him now! Hartlepool teenager's amazing progress after £10,000 operation
Just look at Joshua Readman now!
It is only five months since the 17-year-old from Hartlepool had two hours of surgery to have a metal bar inserted into his chest which was caving inward.
But in that short space of time, his life has been transformed. His heart, which had only been operating at 45 per cent because of the pressure on it, is back to normal and Joshua is living life to the full.
So far, he has;
* Started playing volleyball and he loves it;
* Goes to a college gym where he can take part in all the exercises;
* Started taking driving lessons;
* Started looking for a job – and is willing to turn his hand to anything, said his mum;
* He has also begun applying for university places.
Mum Natasha Johnston told the Mail: "His heart is not being crushed any more and it is a lot less stress.
"If you can imagine it happening to your child, you just want the best for them. When you find out he has a condition which is crushing his heart, you just wonder what will go wrong.
"But this is like having an extra Christmas present. His future is so much brighter.”
The teenager has Pectus Excavatum, which is estimated to affect one in every 300-400 births.
It is a rare condition in which his chest wall is caving inward and pressing against his heart.
But the people of Hartlepool helped fundraise for the £10,000 procedure to go ahead.
The operation involved a metal bar being inserted into Joshua’s chest and within hours of the operation, he told his mum Natasha, 38, that he could already feel it ‘pulsing’.
The bar is likely to remain in him for three to five years and would eventually be taken out.
When it is, Joshua’s chest will hopefully have properly formed.
Natasha added: “This has made a huge difference and Joshua can do everything now.”