A PLUCKY youngster who endured major heart surgery three times before his third birthday has pledged to help others going through the ordeal.

Eight-year-old Cormac Stewart was born with a blockage of the pulmonary valve and a hole in the heart between the two main chambers.

The schoolboy had two major operations to correct the problem within days of his birth and further open heart surgery just before he was three.

It is likely he will need another operation when he is a teenager.

But Cormac has ­refused to let his condition stand in his way and tomorrow will take part in his second 'Helping Hearts' family 5K at Strathclyde Park to raise funds for the charity Heart Research UK.

The charity funds medical research into the prevention, treatment and cure of heart disease.

Cormac's mum Rosemary, his father Alistair, cousins Harry, Tariq, Samy, Kirsten, Callum, Kerry and Maria along with his aunts, Moira, Geraldine, Jackie and Ann Marie, are all taking part in the event to support the cause.

Cormac, who attends St Benedict's School in Glasgow, said: "It was an awesome day and I was helping people like myself and some boys and girls that aren't as lucky or as healthy as me."

His mother Rosemary said Cormac is the reason the whole family are ­doing the event in Strath­clyde Park again this year.

She said: "After Cormac did it last year it opened up a new understanding for him about his condition and helping others in a similar position.

"Last year's event was such a positive experience for him and it has changed his whole attitude. We all had a great experience of doing something together."

Tomorrow's 5K fun run gets under way at noon in Strathclyde Park in Motherwell.

For more on Helping Hearts go to http://heartresearch.org.uk/