Gallery: Aiden Bloss stars in The Tempest at DanceEast despite suffering from rare heart defect

Aiden Bloss

Aiden Bloss - Credit: Archant

Mother-of-two Emma Blower struggled to hold back the tears when she watched her “inspirational” young son take centre stage at a Shakespeare festival.

Nine-year-old Aiden Bloss performed the role of Prospero, one of the Bard’s most enigmatic characters, in The Tempest with measured control and maturity. It earned him widespread applause at the DanceEast studios at Ipswich’s waterfront.

The youngster has come a long way since undergoing major open heart surgery six years ago, in a life-saving operation.

He was born with a severe heart defect so rare doctors said they had never seen anything like it. He had a hole in his heart and two blood vessels going into the right-hand side, instead of one on either side.

The surgery, at Ipswich Hospital, lasted 12 hours. It was supposed to take four to six hours.

“It was a very stressful time,” Miss Blower, of Bickers Hill, Laxfield, said.

“It was distressing for Aiden. He didn’t really know what was going on.”


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However his heart was not strong enough to cope with the planned Rastelli operation, which would have closed the hole in his heart, redirected one of the vessels and created a new valve and vessel. Doctors put in a shunt as a temporary measure.

Since then Aiden has endeavoured to live a normal life every day in spite of his condition, which can sometimes affect his mobility and energy levels.

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“He is such a strong boy,” Miss Blower, 28, said.

“They said he couldn’t ride a bike; after 20 minutes he was riding independently. He is determined to do everything he can.”

He represented All Saints Primary School in Laxfield at the Shakespeare Schools Festival on November 15.

Nick Stacey, partner of Miss Blower, went through the script every night with Aiden.

“He was absolutely brilliant,” said Miss Blower, who also has a 10-month-old daughter Olivia Stacey.

“It brought tears to my eyes. We are incredibly proud of him and want to let him know how much we love him.”

However a GP has said in the past few weeks that Aiden might have to undergo another operation in a few months.

“He started crying when he found out,” Miss Blower said. “But he is such an independent and mature young man he was back to himself after a short while.”

That operation could take place in February.

But before then, the family-of-four plan to enjoy a “quiet and peaceful” Christmas together.

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