A Milton Keynes schoolboy born with a critical heart defect has proved he is fighting fit by running a mammoth 500 miles for charity.
Determined Dylan Watson, 16, refuses to be “wrapped up in cotton wool” due to his medical problem.
He fitted in the runs, averaging 10 miles a time, into the 12 months of 2017 – inbetween playing competitive hockey five times a week.
“Our theory is that the heart is a muscle and the harder you work it the stronger it will get,” said his mum Emma.
Dylan, who lives in Newport Pagnell, was born with Pulmonary Atresia and needed two life-saving operations within days of his birth.
He had more surgery when he was two and soon faces another op to replace a leaky valve.
A student at Ousedale school, Dylan set himself a target of raising £500 during last year, with the money to be split between the British Heart Foundation and Willen Hospice.
In fact his efforts raised more than £1,300 – and the money is still coming in.
The teenager, who plans to study sport and psychology, launched a Virgin Giving page, saying: “I hope my challenge will also inspire people with health issues or disabilities to push themselves and to believe there are no boundaries to what they can achieve.”
He is now contemplating another charity challenge –swimming the equivalent of the English channel in lengths at the local swimming pool.
Emma said: “There is no stopping him. He’s amazing and we’re very proud.”