A devoted dad wanted to show his six-year-old son his life-saving heart surgery was something to be proud of. So he had a matching tattoo of his little boy’s surgery scar inked onto his own chest. Joey Watts has a condition called supravalvular aortic stenosis – a heart defect causing the narrowing of the large blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Just four weeks ago, the schoolboy, from Beverley in Yorkshire, underwent life-saving open heart surgery at Leeds Children’s Hospital to widen the blood vessel . The operation has left him with a large scar that runs down his chest, reports Leeds Live . His brother, Harley, also has the same condition and will soon be having the same life-saving treatment.
Joey’s dad, Martin, decided to have the scar tattooed on his own chest to show his support for his son, as well as to take part in an empowering campaign by the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund (CHSF) known as #ScarSelfie. Leanne, Joey’s mum, said: “All of these warriors should be proud of their scars and all they achieve in life. “We have another little boy called Harley with the same condition who will also be having surgery in the near future. “So to us this is an amazing thing to do to spread awareness, and maybe encourage a few more people help to fundraise for such a fantastic cause.” #ScarSelfie celebrates patients with congenital heart disease and encourages patients to share intimate photos of their scars with the hashtag #ScarSelfie, to inspire, encourage and enlighten others. You can see the campaign by searching for Children’s Heart Surgery Fund on Facebook and Instagram . Supporters are also encouraged to donate to the charity, which supports the Leeds Congenital Heart Unit at Leeds Children’s Hospital. Sharon Milner, CEO of CHSF, said: “We fully understand that showing a scar picture is a very personal decision and not for everyone. However, we have run this campaign in previous years and know the positive message it brings. “We are blown away by the bravery and resilience of the hundreds of CHD patients who undergo open heart surgery and life-saving procedures at the Leeds Congenital Heart Unit every day – like Joey. “This campaign is one way of celebrating the incredible stories of these heart warriors. Please do take part if you can, and support our wonderful cause by way of donations.” Find out more about the work of CHSF and make a donation at chsf.org.uk .