A MOTHER whose 11-year-old son is going into hospital for heart surgery is working on a surprise for when he returns home.

Catherine Barrow, from Peacehaven, was shocked to find out her son James had a heart condition in March this year.

“It’s really been a whirlwind since we found out,” she said.

“He could hardly walk and suddenly had no energy, at the age of 11.

“Things were steadily getting worse and we have now been transferred up to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.”

James is due to have heart surgery today to fit a device to help his heart while he waits for an official transplant.

During his recovery in hospital, Catherine plans to redecorate his room to surprise him when he returns home.

“He’s always talked of having it re-done so I thought now was a good time while he’s in hospital,” she said. “His friends have been contributing ideas for his room.

“It will just be nice for him to have something good to come back to after his operation.”

James, who is due to start at Seahaven Academy in Newhaven, is on a waiting list to receive a full heart transplant.

But it can be anything between six months to six years waiting, according to Catherine.

So in the meantime he is having surgery to fit a device into his heart to help pump blood around his body.

This will make him fit enough to move back home.

“We have been staying at the hospital together for quite a long time now and we just want to be home,” said Catherine.

“His brother Thomas, who is 14, said he wouldn’t want to be anywhere else at this time.

“We have given him the opportunity to go and stay with friends but he just wants to stay with us.

“So we have all been together which is nice, but it will be great to be able to bring James home.”

Catherine is hoping to fill James’s room with new furniture and a projector so that he can watch films while he’s resting.

She has started a gofundme page to fundraise for money to go towards providing him an enjoyable space to spend time in, and something to look forward to.

She said her son has been lucky enough to have supportive friends, who he went to school with at Telscombe Cliffs in Peacehaven, who have recently all paid money towards a Samsung tablet to keep him entertained in hospital.