A BRAVE little girl from South Tyneside is looking forward to a fantastic third birthday back at home after spending weeks in hospital battling for her life.
Llana Qazi was taken to the intensive care unit at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital in February after her body rejected the donor heart she received two years ago.
But she wowed doctors with her fighting spirit and was allowed to return to the family home on Dean Road in South Shields, initially to be kept in isolation, in March.
Now medical staff have her organ rejection under control she is no longer in isolation – and has even joined up with pals at nursery at Riverside Children’s Centre in Garrick Street, South Shields.
While she is still on a course of steroids to manage her condition and will remain under the watchrful eye of medical staff, her family are delighted to have Llana out of hospital and full of cheer.
The tenacious tot received a new heart when she was just nine months old following almost eight months at the Freeman Hospital.
She was kept alive by a mechanical Berlin heart after suffering from a condition called cardiomyopathy.
After overcoming a host of challenges in her short life - she will toast her third birthday on May 12.
Dad Mohammad Qazi, 53, said: “She is doing very well. She was in isolation when she first came home but that isn’t the case now.
“We are relieved and delighted that she is doing so well.
“She has been to nursery once since she was released from hospital.
“The nursery have been very good.
“They always tell us if another child has a runny nose or is ill.
“We still have to be careful with her immune system but we like to her to go along, even if it is just for half an hour.”
Mr Qazi and wife Shazeb, 42, as well as their sons Jassan and Saad and daughter Maria, have taken part in the Great North Run for the last two years to raise funds for the Freeman Hospital’s Children’s Heart Unit Fund (CHUF).
Family members are planning on tackling the famous half marathon again this year to support a hpspital that has done so much for Llana.