At 18 months old, Alfie Fraser goes on a walkabout while wrapped up warm and smiles for the camera as he takes those confident solo steps.
Yet anyone who thinks that the South Queensferry tot is much the same as any toddler taking those first steps independently would be sorely mistaken.
Looks can indeed be deceiving for Alfie has just half a heart.
And he has had the heavy-duty level of highly specialised paediatric cardiac care that this rare and complex condition has demanded at Glasgow Children’s Hospital.
To date, it has included open heart surgery but this is not the whole story after Alfie’s reaction proved to be unusual in a far more positive sense than was expected
And that is welcome news for mum Emma, dad Scott plus sisters Beth (7) and Olivia (2), who live in William Black Place.
Emma explained: “Treatment usually comprises of three main open heart surgeries – one at birth, one at six months and another at aged four.
“However, Alfie surprised everyone by finding his own balance and making his heart work for him.
“As a baby, he was happy and content and didn’t need the first surgery.
“He had a cardiac procedure at four months to ensure blood flow round his heart and he was due to have the second surgery at six months but due to illness and lack of beds, several dates were cancelled.
“Alfie managed to 12 months before the first open heart surgery. It was high risk as they weren’t sure how his body would react.
“However, again he surprised everyone and was home in two weeks.
“Alfie is a happy and content toddler who gets up to the same things as others his age.
“The only difference is that Alfie can have a bluish discolouration of the skin from lower levels of oxygen and he gets out of breath quite quickly.
“We are now waiting on the third surgery before Alfie starts school and heart transplant would be the next stage.”
The family know there are risks involved but have every faith in the “excellent care” Alfie receives. They have also praised the practical help afforded to them while staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Glasgow when Alfie underwent his treatment.
In the meantime, the Frasers have organised a Heart Beat live music night to benefit the hospital’s charity for which raffle prizes are also required. The event will take place at Winchburgh Bowling Club on Saturday, February 2.
For more, see the Heart Beat Facebook page or contact Emma on 07791 008802.