When Alexander was set a presentation on 21st Century Inventions at school, he knew to ask our Charity about 3D printing because of our recent appeal to fund a 3D printer at our hospitals. Here he shares his inspirational story

A little bit about me; I am Alexander and I am 12. I like science, computer technology, maths and Spanish.  I am also a keen fundraiser and support many charities.

Recently, I was part of a competition at my school on “Inventions of the 21st Century”. I chose to give a speech on 3D printing, as I am lucky enough to own a 3D printer, and enjoy making interesting things with it. As part of my research, I wanted to find out more about how they are used in the medical field, so I contacted Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity. This was because I knew they specialise in heart and lung surgery. I knew this because Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals helped my granddad when he was ill.

Did you know that Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity recently helped the hospitals to buy a 3D printer? This is so that they can teach staff and communicate with other families in the hospital about the surgery that they are about to go through. A 3D printer really helps them.

It is not easy to print a 3D heart. To be able to do it they first have to get a 3D scan of the heart. They do this using a CT scanner. They then have to convert this into a 3D model before they can finally print it out; when I printed my heart it took more than six hours to print.

I am really thankful for all the support Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospital have given me in helping me understand how this ground breaking technology works.  As a result of their help, I managed to win the competition!

I think more people should help Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals as they do lifesaving surgery and support people with life threatening heart and lung conditions.

As a family, we are supporters of Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity because of the help they gave my granddad.

We'd like to say a huge congratulations to Alexander and thank him for sharing his story. Perhaps we'll see Alexander in one of our hospital labs in the future!