As every parent knows, there is no greater worry than when your child falls ill. And for Sophie’s parents her illness came out of the blue when their previously healthy daughter collapsed with a heart attack. Only a few days earlier, Sophie, 14, had celebrated her birthday with her twin sister. But within hours her life hung in the balance as her heart was ravaged by such a rare condition – Takayasu arteritis – that even her doctors were consulting their medical books.
The terrible upshot soon became clear – Sophie needed a life-saving heart transplant.
Fortunately, a donor was found but that wasn’t the end of the story as it was a very risky operation.
Incredibly, during all this time, dad Paul kept an amazing photo diary of Sophie’s illness – from the day she was admitted to hospital to when, to the joy of her parents, she opened her eyes after her transplant op and asked, ‘Did it work?’
And it was this incredible photo diary charting this inspirational story that is printed over the centre pages of the Daily Mirror today.
I am pleased to report Sophie has made a remarkable recovery since her heart attack in July and is now back at school.
Mum Helen says: “We don’t know much about the donor family – only that the heart came from a 29 year old person. But we can never thank the donor family enough – and we will be thinking of them this Christmas. Because they gave us the most important gift of all, the gift of life.”
To find out more about organ donation, go to www.uktransplant.org.uk
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