Meet schoolboy, 8, pursuing F1 dream after recovering from three open heart surgeries at Birmingham hospital

Daniel is hoping to find a sponsor to continue his dream of becoming a Formula One star after recovering from open heart surgeries
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A schoolboy is dreaming of becoming a Forumula One star after recovering from three open heart surgeries at hospital in Birmingham.

Eight-year-old Daniel Stangerean has received treatment at Birmingham's Children's Hospital and his aim now is to persue his dream to become a Formula 1 driver.

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Dad Krisztian Pintea said: "He had his first surgery at just six days old, after we rushed him to the hospital because his skin had turned yellow. We were quickly transferred to Birmingham Children's Hospital, where we were told that Daniel had a hole in his heart and that his main artery was too small. At this point, we knew our lives had changed forever."

Less than a week after his birth, Daniel,from Leicestershire, underwent a procedure to fix the narrowing in the main body artery. When he was six months old, he had a second operation where the hole was closed using Daniel's lung artery valve. He has since been closely monitored by the specialist team in the Heart Outpatients Department.

However, Daniel has never let his health stop him, and at five years old, he found a passion for go-karting, following in the footsteps of seven-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton. Daniel eventually joined the prestigious UK independent kart racing series, which has nine races across the country, and took home second place. This gained him an invitation to an esteemed trophy event at Silverstone track, home of the British Grand Prix.

At eight years old, Daniel was fifth in the UK in his class. However, there was a bump in the road for Daniel when his parents received a call from the Children's Hospital. They received news that Daniel needed a third open-heart surgery. Krisztian explained: "We were told that the lung valve that was used to fix Daniel's artery as a baby was now too small for him, so he needed the valve replaced.

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"Unfortunately for Daniel, it meant that he couldn't continue competing. He was devastated he could no longer race as he was doing so well. It's what he loves most in the world. However, we talked him through his operation and how important it was. We spoke to him about everything that was going to happen and in the end he took it in his stride and was very brave going in for his procedure."

Daniel's operation, which took place in September this year, was successful but he was told that his racing career needed a pit stop as he required four months of recovery and rest after his major operation.

Dad Krisztian added: "We still go and watch his friends race to support them but it's difficult for Daniel to see everyone racing when he can't race himself. However, Daniel remains as determined as ever and is on track to join the best team in the UK next year, the RCE Race Team. He dreams of doing the SuperOne series, following in the footsteps of (F1 drivers) George Russell and Lewis Hamilton."

Daniel's operation, which took place in September this year, was successful Daniel's operation, which took place in September this year, was successful
Daniel's operation, which took place in September this year, was successful

Daniel faces another obstacle, as due to the expensive cost that comes with racing, he may be unable to continue to race professionally. Krisztian said, "We are doing everything we can as a family to support Daniel's dream. However, there is a huge cost to professional racing. We're currently looking for a sponsor for Daniel so he can continue competing.

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"A sponsor really would mean the world to us. It's the difference between Daniel being able to follow his dream after already overcoming so much with his heart condition. He has achieved so much already. We can't thank the team at Birmingham Children's Hospital enough."

Daniel said: "Go-karting makes me really happy and I love racing against other kids. My favourite teams are Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull and my favourite Formula 1 driver is Lewis Hamilton. It's my dream to be a professional racer one day."

Dr Chetan Mehta, Daniel's Consultant Cardiologist, said: “Daniel has been a brave boy and wants to accomplish his dreams. His cardiac condition doesn't hold him back. I am proud of Daniel and would like to see him being sponsored and supported to fulfil his dreams."

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