'I don't want my little hero to feel forgotten': Coventry City clap plea for fan with heart failure

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Pictured is Louis O'Brien-Smith from Coventry who is watching his team from his hospital bed, waiting for a heart transplant. Credit: Chantelle Spiers

Football fans at the FA Cup semi-final match between Coventry City and Manchester United are being encouraged to clap in the 21st minute for a supporter who is in hospital on an urgent waiting list for a heart transplant.

Louis O'Brien-Smith, from Coventry, has dilated cardiomyopathy, which is believed to be caused by chemotherapy he underwent for leukaemia. Louis had cancer twice as a child.

Now 21, Louis has been stuck in a hospital room for weeks, not knowing when he is going to be able to leave, and not allowed to leave until he has a new heart.

Last week, doctors finally announced the news that Louis was going to have a new heart.

However, after prepping Louis for a heart replacement operation, it was cancelled at the last minute as the replacement heart was not responding properly.

Mum Chantelle Spiers told ITV Central: "For me, I don't want my little hero to feel forgotten while he waits within the hospital walls."

She added: "The future is uncertain and all he can do is wait and hold on to hope that a heart will become available.

Pictured on the left is Louis with his Mum and rapper YoungBloodRap. On the right is Louis in his hospital bed. Credit: Chantelle Spiers

"My son has battled all of his life. It feels so unfair and so, so cruel. The situation right now feels so scary and I cannot bare the thought of losing him. If I can rally around support now to show Louis how we are all behind him then that is what I shall do!"

Despite being isolated in a hotel room, Louis' mum is keen to show him he is not alone.

"For the supporters to clap for him on the 21st minute will show him as he watches away from home that he isn't forgotten," she said.

"To know that half of the city, his home town are thinking of him and acknowledging him means the world!"

The hope and end goal for Louis and his mum Chantelle is to raise awareness of his condition and organ donation.

They've had the support of singer and rapper YoungBloodRap, who produced a song called 'Mr High (Louis Tribute)' that tells Louis' story and mentions the importance of donors.

And Louis has even amounted to a social media account following of over 60,000, much to the amazement of his mum. She said: "In the words of his TikTok followers- he's waiting for a heart fit for a king!"

Pictured is Louis as a child battling Leukaemia. Credit: Chantelle Spiers

From a young age, Louis has always struggled with his health. He had meningitis at 11 weeks old and at 18 months was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia, a rare and aggressive form of cancer and he overcame it twice.

However, Louis went on to have complications from chemotherapy including damage to his bones, legs, tibia and hips, but also to his heart, leading to him being put on an urgent heart transplant waiting list.

His mum said that he's spent so long in and out of hospital treatment in Birmingham, that he's got a bit of a Brummie accent.

He struggles to walk, and his main ambition was to walk his dog before last Christmas, but because of the severity of his multiple health conditions, he was not able to.

Pictured on the left is Louis' stepdad, who will hopefully be one fan along with many, showing their support for Louis at the match. Credit: Chantelle Spiers

But that won't stop him from carrying on fighting. Chantelle said: "I don't want to wake up for the worst to happen and wish I could have done more. Louis is 21 now, he's living breathing and fighting now.

"From his hospital bed, he raises the importance and awareness of the need for organ donation."

"He's spent so much time fighting he hasn't had the chance to do all the things young people do. And for him now to sit and wait and remain in the hospital just feels so cruel. Particularly after last week's stand down."

"He's so young, so deserving of a chance at life."

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