A Scots toddler fighting a life-limiting lung and heart disorder has been given a boost in his battle with the condition – from football legend David Beckham.
Two-year-old Zac Gunn enjoyed a kickabout with the former England and Manchester United star while in London for treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Zac, from Motherwell, North Lanarkshire, was recently diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, a rare and extremely serious condition that affects the heart and lungs. The condition is currently incurable.
But despite his battle, Zac managed to shrug off his worries to enjoy a kickabout with Becks in front of stunned hospital staff and proud parents Gordon, 33, and Ashley, 32.
Mr Gunn said: “It has been a really tough time for Zac and for all of the family.
“Collectively we’ve been in shock since being given the diagnosis and we struggled to cope initially as a family.
“But for someone so young, Zac is such a strong person and a real fighter. He just gets up and gets on with things and myself, his mum Ashley and his brother Jacob are just so proud of him.
“It was amazing to see him forget his worries for a while by playing football with David Beckham. David is a global superstar but Zac wasn’t phased at all and got stuck in.
‘It was amazing to see him forget his worries for a while by playing football with David Beckham.’Zac’s dad, Gordon Gunn
“David was an absolute gentlemen with us. We had a decent chat and he is such a nice person, really down to earth. He spent some time with us, posing for photographs and wished us well.
“It was an amazing experience and I can’t thank David, or the staff at Great Ormond Street, enough.”
Zac was diagnosed in September this year after doctors ruled his blood vessels were too small for his heart to be able to pump blood through his body.
The youngster had gone through five weeks of tests, firstly at Wishaw General Hospital then at Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Children before his case was transferred to London’s Great Ormond Street.
Following diagnosis, Zac’s parents launched a JustGiving page to try and raise much needed funds for Great Ormond Street’s pulmonary hypertension service, part of the hospital’s cardiorespiratory clinical unit. So far it has raised more than £9000.
Mr Gunn, who alongside his wife overcame their fear of heights by taking part in a skydive to raise further funds for Zac’s treatment, added: “It has been a tough few months for everyone but especially Zac, but he has taken everything in his stride so far.
“I genuinely don’t know where he gets his resilience from but we are so, so proud of him.
“Everyone has been so supportive. From friends and family to the doctors and nurses that we’ve met.
“We just have to keep hoping and praying that a cure can be found in the next few years.
“In the meantime, we just keep going. We won’t and can’t stop trying.”
To support the Gunn family’s fundraising efforts, donate here.