Brave 11-year-old heart patient from Leeds climbs three mountains in a day ‘to give something back’ to charity

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An inspirational 11-year-old has scaled three mountains in a bid to raise funds for a charity that helped him while he was in hospital.

It took Oscar Ali just one day to climb the formidable peaks of Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowden on Saturday (June 29).

The brave youngster, from Moortown, underwent open heart surgery last year – but he’s not letting that experience slow him down.

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Inspirational 11-year-old Oscar Ali, who underwent open heart surgery last year, scaled three mountains in the space of just one day in a bid to raise funds for charity.Inspirational 11-year-old Oscar Ali, who underwent open heart surgery last year, scaled three mountains in the space of just one day in a bid to raise funds for charity.
Inspirational 11-year-old Oscar Ali, who underwent open heart surgery last year, scaled three mountains in the space of just one day in a bid to raise funds for charity. | Children's Heart Surgery Fund

When Oscar isn’t scaling mountains, he can be found playing football, competing in Jiu Jitsu competitions and running twice a week.

He completed last week’s challenge with his dad Dan, raising nearly £5,000 for Leeds-based Children’s Heart Surgery Fund in the process. His JustGiving page is still live and accepting donations.

Oscar said: “The operation was a huge success and I wanted to give something back to the organisation that has helped me and my family so much.”

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Oscar Ali underwent open heart surgery last year.Oscar Ali underwent open heart surgery last year.
Oscar Ali underwent open heart surgery last year. | Children's Heart Surgery Fund

Children’s Heart Surgery Fund supports the Congenital Heart Unit at Leeds General Infirmary with support for parents like accommodation, financial grants and life-saving medical equipment.

At birth, Oscar was diagnosed with a heart murmur. He had three problems with his heart, one of which fixed itself at a young age. Keyhole surgery at 18-months-old fixed the second problem.

The third issue was a hole between the two chambers of his heart, which caused a leak as it tried to correct itself it by pulling on his aortic valve.

Doctors decided this needed intervention, because if it was left untreated he would have needed a new valve. Oscar underwent open heart surgery in May 2023 to repair the hole in his heart.

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He completed the three peaks challenge with dad Dan.He completed the three peaks challenge with dad Dan.
He completed the three peaks challenge with dad Dan. | Children's Heart Surgery Fund

He said: “All of the hospital team were so supportive throughout my treatment. Everybody had so much patience and made me feel safe and cared for the whole time.

“I found the three peaks challenge very hard at times, but I wanted to persevere and finish. So many people have supported me on the build up to the event that I really didn’t want to let them down.”

Andy McNally, the Head of Marketing at Children’s Heart Surgery Fund, said: “Oscar’s feat is really inspirational and we can’t thank him and his dad enough.

“The prospect of climbing a mountain is sometimes imagined by patients as they face up to medical challenges ahead. We promise that Oscar’s fundraising will go towards helping future heart heroes and their families across our region – every step of the way.”

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