A BRADFORD teenager is to undergo major heart surgery to treat the same condition which took his mum’s life when he was just 22 months old. 

Brandon Ellis-Rooney, 19, from Allerton, has spoken of his ordeal after becoming seriously ill earlier last month and having to be resuscitated.

He’s now being cared for at Wythenshawe Hospital, one of the UK’s top cardiac centres, while he awaits the vital surgery.

Brandon’s story is the latest chapter in what has been a difficult and devastating three decades for his family. 

Back in 2002, the Telegraph & Argus reported on Brandon’s mum, Faith, following the heartbreaking news of her death a year after a heart transplant gave her the chance of a new life.

Faith, who was only 20, was perfectly healthy until giving birth to Brandon in 2001, when she fell ill. Doctors initially put her weakness down to the stresses of childbirth.

But after further tests at Bradford Royal Infirmary she was transferred to Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester, where her father, John, had his own transplant in 1992.

The rapid onset of her heart condition made her muscles virtually useless and Brandon was eight months old when his mum was able to cuddle him for the first time.

She had been in and out of hospital  with slight rejections and infections following the transplant, but had to be admitted to Wythenshawe when her surgery scar raised in a welt and a heart biopsy showed a severe rejection.

“After a couple of days in hospital she seemed to be picking up a bit although she was feeling very tired. Then they rang and told us to get over there as quickly as possible - we were just too late to say goodbye. She wasn’t strong enough to fight this one off but she did her best,” said John at the time, who passed away 14 years ago.

At the time, Faith’s family, many of whom have the same condition - dilated cardiomyopathy - vowed to tell Brandon how much she loved him and how he was her world.

Now, Brandon, who has had regular check-ups from being a child given his family history, is facing his own battle but says he feels closer than ever to his mum as he waits for his transplant in the same hospital where she received treatment. 

Last month, he went to the Bradford Royal Infirmary to get checked out after suffering lower back pain. 

But from there, his organs began to fail, a chest x-ray found his heart was bigger than it should be and he had to be resuscitated and transferred over to Wythenshawe.

Brandon said: “’Why me?’ was my first reaction, but I always knew that while growing up this could happen.

“When the shock had passed and with the help of doctors, my dad and auntie helping me understand what is to happen, I’ve realised that I won’t be able to live a normal a teenage lifestyle, but I’m just happy that I’ll be able to live a life at all after my transplant.”

Speaking about going through the same as his mum, he added: “In a way it makes feel even more scared knowing that even a slight infection can make me extremely poorly.”

But, he added: “This has made me feel even closer to her knowing what she had to go through.

“I know my dad and auntie are here helping me, but I feel my mum and grandad are always by my side helping me through my good days and most of all my bad days.”

His auntie, Candy Ellis, 37, who is with Brandon over in Wythenshawe, with Brandon’s dad Steven, said: “It’s devastating. Brandon’s slowly coming to terms with it, he’s one of the strongest kids I know. As a family, we are all seriously heartbroken. We are having to sit and be strong for him and rally around him. I’m just trying my hardest to stay strong for him. 

“When Faith was going through that, I  made a promise I would always be there for her son.”

The rest of the family are back in Bradford waiting with their phones to hear any news. 

Brandon sent out thanks to nurses at the BRI on ward 22, as well as nurses in Wythenshawe on the coronary care unit and ward F5. He also thanked all his family, particularly his dad and auntie who he says have sat with him through his highs and lows.

If a heart does not become available by tomorrow, Brandon will have a left ventricular assist device fitted in the morning, which could mean anywhere from four to 18 hours in surgery.