A WALLINGFORD dad who lost his baby son to heart disease has backed a Christmas charity drive.

Adam Castleton is supporting the British Heart Foundation's appeal for funding in memory of Finn, who passed away at six months from a rare form of heart disease.

He died just two weeks before Christmas in 2015 after he was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, which meant he only had half a working heart.

Mr Castleton, his wife Amalie and their one-year-old son Jesse have already raised more than £15,000 for the BHF's lifesaving research as a tribute to their son.

He said: "Finn was loved so much – he touched our hearts, changed our lives and not one day goes by when we don't think of all the joy he brought us in his short life.

"Although his life was tragically short, thanks to the BHF’s research, we were able to spend some time with Finn and create everlasting memories."

Finn was born on June 17, 2015, and had major heart surgery at just a few days old followed by a seven-week stay in hospital.

But just a month later, his condition deteriorated to the point where he had to be sedated and a heart transplant became his only hope.

On December 6, 2015, Finn passed away in his parents' arms.

Mr Castleton, 30, added:"We now want to do as much as we can to help the thousands of families across the UK who are facing an uncertain future because their child has congenital heart disease.

"Nobody should have to send their newborn for heart surgery, list their child for transplant, or withdraw life support."

Each year, about 4,000 babies like Finn are diagnosed with a congenital heart defect in the UK – that’s 12 babies every day with many more diagnoses later in life.

The BHF aims to raise more than half a million pounds this Christmas to help fund pioneering research into congenital heart disease, find new treatments and keep more little hearts beating.

Mr Castleton, who took on a 150-mile kayak challenge along the Thames this summer, said: "Finn was a fighter, and he gave me the inspiration to do anything I can to help find a cause or better treatments for a range of conditions that take so many innocent young lives."

Director of fundraising Amanda Bringans said: "Sadly, many tiny hearts will be struggling this Christmas.

"That’s why we urgently need everyone’s support so that we can find new ways to prevent and support families having to go through this heartache.

"With your support, we can continue to fund the vital research needed to help keep these tiny hearts beating."

Find out more at christmas.bhf.org.uk