A YOUNG boy from Whitchurch with a rare incurable heart condition has seen the community come together to fund a new defibrillator.

Erin Powell, 10, was diagnosed with the rare heart condition Hypertrophic Obstructive Cardiomyopathy (HOCM) last summer.

The condition means he could go into cardiac arrest at any time, so for his own safety Erin needs a defibrillator with him at all times.

Things might change for Erin at the end of January though, as he will go for an MRI scan to decide whether to have a defibrillator permanently fitted to his heart.

Since last year, mum Michelle Powell has been fundraising for a defibrillator, as they cost around £1,700 but are not funded by the NHS.

“He’s got to go for an MRI scan and if they spot any scarring on his heart they might have to fit a defibrillator.

“The diagnosis came out of the blue at the end of July.

“In 95 per cent of cases they only find out about it after the person has died, but in Erin they spotted it aged 10.

“There are dangers to fitting a defibrillator. The screws could pierce his heart or it could go off accidentally.”

Fortunately for Michelle she has nearly achieved her fundraising goal.

“We’re nearly there with it,” said Michelle. “We’ve had donations come in from a few places.

“Alderford Lake had their sleigh through December and the Dodington did a quiz night to raise money too.

“Alport have loaned Erin a defibrillator until he gets his own. It’s quite amazing how the community came together so quickly.

“Someone even made a custom BMX worth around £800 and gave it to us to raffle off.

“It’s just been lots of different little things really.”

Things are starting to return to relative normality for Erin though, with him recently returning to school.

“Erin couldn’t go to school for safety reasons, but now measures have been put in place and the family are all CPR trained.

“But he will be monitored every three months for the rest of his life.

“It certainly does change your day to day life.”

To donate to Michelle’s fundraiser, visit www.gofundme.com/f/erins-heart