Little fighter Llana up for Best of South Tyneside award

Little Llana Qazi with parents Mohammad Qazi and Shazeb Qazi.
Little Llana Qazi with parents Mohammad Qazi and Shazeb Qazi.
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A brave youngster who won her fight for life after underhoing a second heart transplant has been nominated for an award honouring her courage.

Battling four-year-old Llana Qazi has been nominated in the Child of Courage category in the Best of South Tyneside Awards which recognises her bravery after undergoing life-saving surgery.

Delighted dad Mohammad who runs Frydays fish and chip shop, in Smithy Street, South Shields, with wife Shaz Qazi, is amazed by his daughter’s rapid return to health.

Mr Qazi said: “She is the bravest person I know.

“I am very happy she has been nominated for this award. 
“She is doing great at the moment-God bless her- and I am delighted she has been nominated.

“The nomination has come as a surprise to us and it is something to be proud of.

“She is too little to understand anything at the moment, but she will be happy when she grows up and realises she has been nominated for this award.”

Llana had her first heart transplant when she was just a few months old after being born with cardiomyopathy, which meant her heart muscles were not strong enough to work on their own. The South Shields youngster suffered two cardiac arrests and was left clinging onto life in intensive care at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital after her tiny body rejected her original donor organ in November. After a second donor heart was found, she underwent life-saving surgery and is now back at home – and full of life.

She will now act as a beacon of hope for people all over the country facing their own anxious wait on the donor list when she acts as a flag bearer in this summer’s British Transplant Games.

Mr Qazi added: “It means a lot coming from our home town and it goes to shows how good people are.

“The goodwill we have had from the local community has been just unbelievable.

“We have had a lot of support from people who know our situation and we are very grateful to everybody.”