A worried Falconwood mum says her son, who was born with only half a heart, is at risk of 'social isolation' as people fail to recognise his hidden condition.

John Wyllie, 17, was born with a life-changing heart condition known as Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome in which the left side of his heart is seriously underdeveloped, meaning he can become extremely lethargic while completing everyday tasks.

His mum, Anne Marie, spoke of the gut wrenching decisions she and her husband were forced to consider after they received the heartbreaking news of John's condition.

"We were offered a choice of termination, birth with no intervention which would allow him to die, or open heart surgery immediately after his birth and the heartbreaking consequences that could come with it.

"We went home with those three impossible choices and cried," said Mrs Wyllie.

However, on their way out of the hospital, Mrs Wyllie received a leaflet about Little Hearts Matter, a charity dedicated to providing assistance to families affected by the diagnosis of single ventricle heart condition.

After receiving vital information at one of the charity's open days, the brave pair decided to go through with the birth and almost 18 years later, John has overcome adversity and has excelled through his education.

"My son's journey has not been easy in many ways.

"He sustained neurological damage during one early heart surgery which resulted in visual impairment, hemiplegia plus a motor disorder.

"He has about half-vision so he cannot drive and he can be well, quirky, but he is bright, articulate, funny and still here.

"He passed nine GCSEs and has an amazing interest in the world around him but often feels like his school does not 'get it'", said Mrs Wyllie.

The Bexley mum's emotional story comes new figures show that almost three quarters (70 per cent) of those living with Hypoplsatic Left Heart Syndrome are living with anxiety as a result of struggling with their heart conditions.

The figures, released by the Little Hearts Matter charity, also show that 47 per cent of those suffering with the condition feel isolated and left out of activities, preventing them from achieving the same as their peers.

Mrs Wyllie is now calling on others to be mindful of those with the condition as her son continues to battle setbacks due to his debilitating illness.

"John is at risk of social isolation because he doesn't have the same lifestyle as his peers; he can't go out late; club all night; go on fast rides; drive a car; etc. "Little charities like LHM support a growing number of survivors which is fantastic but needs extra funding.

"If we can raise awareness, we can open up possibilities," she said.