Coquitlam’s Liam Haysom heads off the pitch at Duncan’s McAdam Park after his Fraser River team’s win over Vancouver-Coastal in the Cowichan 2018 BC Summer Games on Friday afternoon. (Kevin Rothbauer/Black Press)

ZONE 4: Heart surgery didn’t stop Liam Haysom’s journey to the BC Games

Coquitlam soccer player refused to be sidelined for long after treatment for heart condition

Liam Haysom doesn’t think about it much anymore, but four years ago, the Coquitlam boy’s journey to the Cowichan 2018 BC Summer Games was nearly disrupted.

When he was 10 years old, Haysom was already climbing the ranks in competitive soccer when he came home from school one day complaining of chest pains. A trip to the doctor and an X-ray revealed that his heart wasn’t formed properly. Haysom only had one coronary artery supplying his heart with blood, and needed surgery to move the other artery.

Open-heart surgery wasn’t going to slow him down, however. Haysom was back on the pitch about a week or two after the procedure, and back playing soccer about a month or two after that. He admits it was “tiring” at first.

“Right when I got out of the hospital, I barely could walk,” he recalled on Friday after his Fraser River (Zone 4) team defeated Vancouver Coastal in a round-robin game at Duncan’s McAdam Park.

Six weeks after he got out of the hospital, Haysom completed the Grouse Grind alongside a soccer teammate, his surgeon, surgical staff, and other patients as part of a fundraiser for the BC Children’s Hospital heart lab.

Haysom’s father, Brad, made the trip to Vancouver Island to watch his son go for gold in the Summer Games. He admits that he still thinks about Liam’s condition, whether Liam does or not.

“Some of that never leaves you,” Brad said. “When he collides with somebody and goes down, the first thing you think is, is it his heart? You don’t think about a broken leg or anything.”

Doctors told the Haysom family that they were fortunate to discover the condition when they did.

“When you see an athlete drop dead on the field or the ice, that’s usually what they had,” Brad said. “That’s what they told us.”

Liam, who also competes in basketball and rugby, and used to wrestle, is hoping to play soccer one day at a higher level — something like the EA Sports BC Premier League. But right now, he’s soaking up the BC Summer Games experience.

“It’s so good,” he said with a grin. “It’s probably going to be one of my best memories.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Agassiz Fall Fair celebrates 115 years of fair fun

From 4H shows to pie eating contests, the annual fair brought its best to the community this year

Agassiz Fall Fair kicks off Saturday events with parade, Corn King

Martin Dinn is this year’s Corn King for the community

Michael Nenn running with NDP in Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon

The Mission resident will be seeking a seat in parliament in the federal election this October

Missing man last seen in Chilliwack Sept. 7

Friends concerned for well-being of 44-year-old Jean Pierre Baril

VIDEO: Harrison’s Bands on the Beach a long weekend hit

The annual two-day outdoor concert took place at the waterfront over the long weekend

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Pedestrian struck and killed by vehicle in Surrey

Investigators were asking anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

Most Read