A brave youngster who has had the last rites read to him on three occasions is about to celebrate his 16th birthday.
Connor Shaw, from Chorlton, was born with a congenital heart condition which means only half of his heart is developed.
Throughout his life, Connor has undergone more than 30 procedures and spent years in and out of hospital.
On three occasions, the youngster became so ill that he was read the last rites.
He underwent his first operation when he was just eight days old and has had open heart surgery four times.
Connor Shaw and his dog Molly
At the age of three, he became so ill that he suffered multiple organ failure and was given just days to live.
But fortunately doctors rushed him into surgery for a life-saving heart transplant just in time.
Since then the schoolboy has rallied and is due to celebrated his 16th birthday on Thursday – a milestone his family feared they may never see.
Wrestling fan Connor enjoyed a party – complete with a wrestling ring – with his family and friends on Saturday.
Connor Shaw’s birthday cake
Mum Maria Chebrika-Shaw said the family are delighted that Connor will be celebrating his birthday.
She said: “It’s a birthday we didn’t think we would ever see. Every birthday is special and precious, but this one more so.
“It is quite a milestone and Connor has gone through so much. We never thought we would get to this stage.
“Every day is a blessing. Transplant is an amazing thing. Without it we wouldn’t have seen him grow into a young man.”
In October, Connor will board a plane for the first time and fly to Florida for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Disney World.
He was nominated for the trip – funded by Manchester Airport-based charity Child Flight – by the cardiac team at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.
Maria said: “This is a holiday of a lifetime for us all as we have never had the opportunity before due to all Connor’s health issues.
“We’ve never been abroad and have never flown before so we’re so excited. We’re going with a team of medics which makes us feel so much better – that’s what has put us off travelling in the past. It’s the chance of a lifetime. What an amazing 16th birthday present this is for Connor.
“Without the family that chose to donate their child’s organs and give Connor the gift of life, we wouldn’t have been able to see him celebrate his 16th birthday. We are forever grateful.”