Two young brothers from Doncaster have become the first in the country to benefit from groundbreaking new medical technology.
Eight-year-old Ethan Roper and his brother Kyle, seven, had miniscule heart monitors inserted under their skin in a procedure at Leeds General Infirmary.
The high-tech device, which is the size of two matchsticks, will tell doctors if a serious hereditary heart condition is causing them to faint.
On several occasions previously they have collapsed.
Thanks to the tiny device, data about their heart rhythm will be wirelessly transmitted to the hospital.
Their mum Zoe McConville, from Dunscroft, said their consultant had asked them to wait two weeks to have the procedure so the boys could have the new monitors. “I am pleased. It’s very reassuring,” she said.
Both Zoe, 34, and Ethan were last year diagnosed with Long QT syndrome, a rare and potentially fatal inherited condition. It causes the heart to beat abnormally fast so it cannot pump blood properly and the brain can be temporarily starved of oxygen, so the patient can pass out.
Heart rhythm usually returns to normal quickly and the patient comes round but, if it persists, it can cause cardiac arrest and death.
For Zoe, the condition has been controlled successfully with medication but her sons have both collapsed suddenly in the last few months.
Consultant cardiologist Dr Mike Blackburn decided the boys should have monitors inserted under the skin in their chests so medics can see what was causing the collapses.
“If anything happens, we can be alerted straight away. It has been worrying - we don’t know if it is their hearts or not,” said Zoe.