A teenage boy who was born with half a heart and defied all odds to stay alive returned to This Morning today to reveal how he’s never let his condition stop him from doing anything.
Charlie Turner, 15, from Newport, first appeared on the day time show with his parents 13-years-ago when he was only 19 months old.
Theatre lover Charlie was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and has had three major surgeries to treat the condition.
Determined not to let this stop him, he’s now taking to the stage at Newport’s Dolman Theatre in the lead role of Doctor Dolittle.
Viewers loved Charlie’s story and called him an ‘inspiration’ for not letting it effect him.
Charlie Turner, 15, pictured today, was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome but said he hasn’t let the condition stop him from doing anything he wants
Charlie first appeared on This Morning 13 years ago, pictured, when he was only 19 months old
Mother Alison appeared on TV with Charlie again today and said it’s ‘amazing to see how far he has come. He hasn’t let what he was born with stop him at all.’
She revealed how the last time they were on the show the family wasn’t ‘sure which way it would go’ and had been told there was a 50/50 chance Charlie would make it to school age.
Alison revealed that her son had had ‘three major operations’ with the last one being when he was six and a half.
She said: ‘That operation was to try and re-plumb the heart and it does a good job with what its got now.
When he was a baby, pictured, Charlie’s parents were told he had a 50:50 chance of making it to school age and weren’t sure ‘sure which way it would go’
Mother Alison revealed that Charlie had three major surgeries, with the last, pictured, being when he was only six and a half
Charlie, pictured with his mother Alison today, said he loves theatre and is about to perform in Doctor Dolittle in Newport
‘Before this surgery he would be short of breath and would sometimes turn blue.’
Although Charlie hasn’t been able to play sports at school, he’s found a passion for theatre.
Charlie said: ‘I remember listening to Les Misreables when I was really little, maybe only four years old, and completely loving it.
‘I’d always wanted to do theatre and when there was an open audition at a local theatre for Whistle Down The Wind I went. I got a part in the chorus and knew this was what I wanted to do.’
Tonight Charlie will perform at the Dolman Theatre in Newport as Doctor Dolittle, a role which was played by TV presenter Phillip Schofield in the West End.
Phillip tweeted Charlie to wish him luck, and wrote: ‘I’m so happy to be able to wish you luck again Charlie!
Alison, pictured in 2005 with Charlie and his father, said she feels emotional seeing her son on stage now as she’s ‘proud’ and because ‘no-one knows he’s only got half a heart’
Budding actor Charlie, pictured with his mother, said he loves performing and having an ’emotional impact’ on the audience
TV presenter Phillip Schofield, who played Doctor Dolittle in the West End, tweeted Charlie to wish him good luck before tonight’s performance
‘It’s a huge role, hardly off the stage and Leslie Bricusse didn’t scrimp on the words eh?! You’ll be amazing and give Sophie the seal my love’.
Charlie’s mother Alison said seeing her son on stage is ’emotional’ as she’s a ‘proud mum in the audience’ but also because ‘no-one knows he’s only got half a heart.’
Charlie said: ‘I like it when the audience doesn’t know about my condition. They’re applauding because I’ve done a brilliant job, not because they feel sorry for me.
‘It feels good to be on stage and have an emotional impact on them.’
This Morning presenters Rochelle Humes and Anton du Beke then asked the teenager about how he manages to sing with his heart condition.
Several people tweeted to say Charlie’s story was ‘inspirational’ on This Morning today
Another person said it was great to see Charlie ‘doing well’ despite his heart condition
Mother Alison said that ‘the breath control has helped him’ and Charlie said: ‘Nothing heart related stops me doing anything.
‘Even dancing, but I’m stopped from that more because I don’t have any coordination at all!’
Several people watching the show today tweeted about how inspirational Charlie’s story was.
One person said: ‘Amazing to see Charlie doing so well, and such an inspiration! My little 7 year old boy has the same heart condition and was watching. Thank you for raising awareness’
And another wrote: ‘Great to see this young lad doing well. I have been waiting for a heart transplant for four years. Great to see others doing well. I had to give up acting as my health deteriorated. Hope Charlie does well as Dr. Doolittle.’