Stevenage boy says he feels like ‘robokid’ after having a microchip inserted in his chest

Aaron Buckminster

Aaron Buckminster - Credit: Archant

A 14-year-old from Stevenage says he feels like ‘robokid’ since having a microchip inserted in his chest after being diagnosed with a life- threatening condition.

Aaron Buckminster with his dad, Stuart Buckminster

Aaron Buckminster with his dad, Stuart Buckminster - Credit: Archant

Aaron Buckminster had the chip fitted after tests showed he had undiagnosed Brugada syndrome, a rare heart condition.

This means that the Barclay School student could faint or go into cardiac arrest at any time.

The chip, fitted last week, records his heart function and beams it back to a recorder in his bedroom in Kings Walden Rise.

Dad Stuart said: “He says he feels like robokid and it means he can have much more freedom.


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“I am a scout leader and Aaron is an explorer scout and likes hill walking and camping.

“Having the chip implant means Aaron can continue to lead a pretty much normal life.”

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Stuart was with his son when he collapsed on December 21.

Tests at Stevenage’s Lister Hospital saw him moved to the Royal Brompton Hospital in London where he was told he had the rare Brugada syndrome.

Aaron, who is trying to raise awareness of the condition, said: “I was shocked by it. I didn’t know what Brugada was until they told me.

“More people need to know about it, because if you have it and you don’t know you usually die from it.”

Brugada can cause fainting and episodes of an abnormally rapid heart rhythm, called arrhythmia, which can be fatal.

It is a leading cause of sudden cardiac death in young, otherwise healthy people.

“I describe it as a perfect storm,” said Stuart.

“Everything sort of goes wrong at the right moment. And it is like being a ticking time bomb, you don’t know if it will occur again.”

A pacemaker is normally fitted to patients so that their heart is shocked back into life after an attack, but this would have given Aaron much less freedom.

Stuart said: “We know what signs to look for – a spike in temperature that cannot be brought down with paracetamol, and that’s when we know we have to get him to the Lister as soon as possible.”

Aaron, a keen musician, had the surgery on Tuesday last week and made it to his music lesson at school the same day.

“I am not going to let it stop me doing what I want to do, I just have to know my limits,” he said.

After having a week off, he returned to school full-time on Tuesday, walking home by himself.

Stuart said: “It was so scary when it happened.

“I am first aid trained, but all the first aid went out of the window when my own son passed out.

“He was so excited to get the chip but I was just thinking of all the things that could go wrong.

“It is just a relief to know that he is all right.

“The school have been great about it, they got a defibrillator and everyone has had training.”

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