A SCHOOLBOY who can’t play his beloved football because of a rare heart condition, has penned an ode to the beautiful game.
Tom Smith, eight, will need a heart transplant when he is 12 years old after being born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome.
The schoolboy has already had to undergo operations to alleviate problems caused by the condition, which means the left side of his heart is severely underdeveloped, affecting the flow of blood through his body.
Though an otherwise healthy little boy, he can’t play football because of the strain it would put on his heart.
But it hasn’t stopped the East Rainton Primary School pupil from being an avid fan of the Black Cats, with dad Andy Smith, 36.
His other passion is music and he has penned a track called Mackem Mouse, which is being sold to raise money for heart charity Little Hearts Matter.
Andy said: “Because Tom can’t play football he’s created this character called the Mackem Mouse, a character he has on Fifa. He’s always had the nickname mouse since he was born.
“The song is about the mouse going to the Stadium of Light and scoring goals.
“We’re really proud of him, it’s a funny song and I can’t stop singing it in my head. He has already started writing his second song.”
Tom penned the track with the help of music teacher Christopher McCourtie, a former member of North East indie rock band Detroit Social Club.
In the song, Tom sings about scoring five goals against Liverpool FC and his hero Connor Wickham.
Andy, who owns TRG Car Sales in Houghton, said: “He’s been having music lessons for a year now and absolutely loves it. As part of that Chris has been encouraging him to write his own music and lyrics which is when he wrote the song.
“We had held a football tournament for Little Hearts Matter and the two things just came together.”
Only a week after its release, the track has had more than a 1,000 hits on YouTube and has raised around £250 for the charity.
Andy, who is also dad to Luke, ten, and Hannah, six, said: “He’s fit as a fiddle at the moment but the older and bigger he gets the more his heart will deteriorate and he will eventually need a transplant.”
Hypoplastic left heart syndrome is an illness that affects one in 5,000 babies. It means Tom was born with a hole in his heart.
Since birth, the youngster has faced a series of operations at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital to help alleviate his condition – the first when he was just 24 hours old.
Throughout it all, Little Hearts Matter have provided the family with information on the condition.
•To see Tom’s video log onto www.sunderlandecho.com.
•You can buy and download a copy of The Mackem Mouse from http://the-mackem-mouse.bandcamp.com. It costs £1 with all proceeds going to Little Hearts Matter. Find out more about the charity at www.lhm.org.uk.