Teesside mum thanks stranger who paid for teenage daughter's life changing surgery

Video report by Rachel Bullock

A Teesside teenager is recovering from life-changing surgery after a stranger came forward to pay for it.

Autumn Bradley, from Guisborough near Redcar,  was diagnosed with pectus excavatum, a condition that caused her ribcage to bend inwards, putting pressure on her heart and lungs.

The operation took place at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough last year and usually costs several thousand pounds.

However, it was paid for by a man from the Isle of Man who learned of the teen's story last year.

Autumn is still recovering from her operation, but her mum thanked the stranger for their kindness and generosity.

Her mother Sarah says he's now become a precious family friend. She told ITV News Tyne Tees, "He saved her life. I still get teary now with it all. Just an amazing man.

"He's always asking how she is. We send photos of her and updates. She likes art, so she draws him pictures and sends them off to him."

The man has now become a part of the family, with Sarah adding, "He's become almost a grandparent figure."

What is pectus excavatum?

Pectus excavatum, also known as 'funnel chest' is a condition in which, instead of being level with the ribs, the breastbone (sternum) is ‘sunken’ so that the middle of the chest looks ‘caved in’.

While treatment for the condition is available on the NHS in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, NHS England concluded in 2019 that there is not enough evidence to routinely commission the intervention.