Youngster's ready to take part in Wessex Heartbeat’s Dancing With Choirs show

Twelve-year-old Mai-Chi, centre, with mum Carla Gair, left, and her aunt Louise Henderson

Twelve-year-old Mai-Chi, centre, with mum Carla Gair, left, and her aunt Louise Henderson

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

SHE was just five years old when she was left watching as her mum fought for her life.

Mother Carla Gair had been on a night out with friends when she suffered a cardiac arrest and had to be rushed to hospital.

All that little Mai-Chi Wong could do was watch as doctors battled to save the mum-of-two.

Happily, despite doctors saying she was unlikely to survive, Carla pulled through.

Now aged 12, Mai-Chi will be singing at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton to raise money for other people with heart conditions.

The Hounsdown School pupil will be performing in Wessex Heartbeat’s Dancing With Choirs show for the Daily Echo-backed High 5 appeal which aims to create a new cardiac ward at Southampton General Hospital for 16- to 30-year-olds.

Since the cardiac arrest in 2007 at The Chapel nightclub in Salisbury, Carla’s condition has steadily worsened and she is now on the waiting list for a heart transplant at Southampton General Hospital’s cardiac centre. When Carla is feeling unwell, Mai-Chi helps her brother Tylan Wong, nine, get ready for school, cooks meals for the family and looks after her mum.

But when she is not helping at home the youngster sings with E-Minor Pop Academy in Totton, which is run by Carla’s sister Louise Henderson.

Carla, 37, a former hair-dresser, from Totton, said: “It’s been tough for both of the children, and particularly for Mai-Chi, having to help look after, and worry about me as well as doing school work.

“Both children were quite young but they’ve both adapted well. I think she grew up really quickly.

“I loved dancing when I was younger, which is one of the reasons why Mai-Chi developing her talent as a soloist and part of the choir is a real joy. “Waiting for me to be given a new heart is not easy for any of us and if it happens before the show that would be wonderful. If it doesn’t I will do my very best to see my little girl on the big stage on the night.”

Mai-Chi said: “It was quite scary. I don’t really remember it much but we didn’t know what was going to happen.

“Now I get my brother ready for school and make our breakfasts. We don’t argue as much either.

“The group just takes me away from everything at home and it took my mind off things.

“It’s good to help other people who have similar issues to my mum.”

The group of 100 children will be singing six current chart songs during the show, from Rihanna to the Black Eyed Peas.

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