A six-year-old Southampton school boy is recovering from heart surgery to save his life. 

Shaun Dalley, from Maybush, had two emergency operations last month after his heart stopped and he collapsed in the playground at Holy Family Catholic Primary School in Mansel Road West.

Now his mum, Stephanie Griffiths, has issued a heartfelt thank you to the University Hospital Southampton medics who saved his life. 

Daily Echo:

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She said: "I can't quite put into words what this has meant to us.

"The four morning surgeons said we've not done this before, but we've read a lot about it and we feel confident. They said we have 80 years experience between us and he'll be fine. Hours later, he came out of surgery.

"We owe Dr Shankar Sadagopan and his team, NICU and E1 so much more than words can say."

Daily Echo: Shaun Dalley leaving hospital

Shaun, a big Super Mario fan who also loves football and beavers, and his twin sister were born ten weeks prematurely in November 2017 and he had a pacemaker fitted to rectify a congenital heart block. 

It worked well until four weeks ago, when Shaun’s heart stopped three times in one evening - including once in the playground when he was being picked up from school and again when he was in hospital.

It is believed wires from his pacemaker had wrapped around his heart, cutting off blood supply to various muscles, arteries and valves.

A temporary external pacemaker was fitted ahead of more permanent corrective surgery the following day. 

Daily Echo: Shaun Dalley in hospital

Shaun has a heart function of just 30 per cent but it is hoped this will improve as he grows up. 

Stephanie, who hopes Shaun will be back at school with his two sisters in just a few weeks, also thanked Holy Family staff, who she said had been 'outstanding' throughout. School friends raised money for hospital charities at their dress down day last week.

Daily Echo: Shaun Dalley in hospital

A spokesperson for University Hospital Southampton said: “Shaun has been with us as a cardiac patient since birth, having been fitted with a pacemaker due to congenital heart block.

“Surgery on any premature baby can be complex but his initial treatment went well. However, Shaun required further surgery this year due to some late and unexpected complications.

“Although his case is unusual, the recent corrective surgery was straightforward and we are pleased with the outcome. Shaun is a very bright and happy child and we are delighted with his progress.”