A mainland boy with a hole in his heart arrived in Hong Kong yesterday hoping a sophisticated operation will save his life. Doctors said Guangzhou toddler Li Jian-shun, three, who also has Down's syndrome and pulmonary hypertension, would not see his fifth birthday if the 15mm in diameter hole in his heart was left unattended. The operation would normally cost $100,000 but the boy, nicknamed 'Shun Zhai', is the first child to receive free heart surgery arranged by the Mental Handicap Network China and private charity Keswick Foundation. Hong Kong Children Heart Foundation will pay for the operation, to be conducted at the Adventist Hospital. Shun Zhai waved and smiled at the cameras at Hunghom station, looking healthy though as small as a one-year-old and too nervous to speak. President of the Hong Kong College of Cardiology Dr Cheng Chun-ho said any delay in the operation to fix the problem would be fatal. 'If the boy does not receive the operation in time, even if he could have a successful one in the future, it could not help the irreversible damage caused by pulmonary hypertension. He would then suffer from heart failure and die,' he said. The boy's father, Li Yong-hang, said the boy was sent to hospital last June for high fever and was diagnosed with heart problems in October. Mr Li, who runs a motorcycle parts shop in Guangzhou, said doctors in his hometown were not confident they could handle such a major operation. The success rate in Hong Kong is about 90 per cent. Mr Li said Shanghai hospitals had the expertise but it would cost 100,000 yuan (HK$93,000) to 160,000 yuan. 'We can't afford the operation in China so we are very lucky that we can come to Hong Kong. My son's name is Shun, which means lucky, I very much hope he will be fine,' he said.