New year brings new hope for battling Llana

Little Llana Qazi with dad  Mohammad and mum Shazeb.
Little Llana Qazi with dad Mohammad and mum Shazeb.

The proud family of a ‘courageous’ little girl who has spent weeks in hospital fighting for her life after a second heart transplant say they have renewed hope for the New Year.

Battling Llana Qazi remains in intensive care at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital after undergoing a gruelling eight-hour organ transplant surgery less than a fortnight ago.

Llana pictured in hospital.

Llana pictured in hospital.

The tenacious four-year-old has now been taken out of sedation by doctors – allowing parents Mohammad and Shazeb Qazi, from Dean Road, South Shields, to dream of a brighter future for their daughter.

Llana first received a new heart at the tender age of nine months in February 2012 but has been in hospital since November 7, when she suffered a chronic rejection of the donor heart.

She was put on top of the emergency transplant list – and a donor organ from a 14-year-old has now given her another shot at life.

Loved ones spent the busy festive period at their daughter’s bedside, where they will remain throughout every step of her recovery.

Mr Qazi, 53, who runs Frydays fish and chip shop in South Shields, said: “She is very courageous. We are now just hoping that her body does not reject her new heart as it did with her previous donor heart.

“We just want her to get better in the New Year.”

Llana Qazi’s health battle began when she was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, which meant her heart muscles were not strong enough to work on their own, at just four months old.

Her family were told she needed a heart transplant and she was kept alive by a mechanical Berlin heart until a donor was found in February 2012.

Doctors said she had only a 50/50 chance of survival, but she pulled through – only to be hit by a major setback in February 2014 when her body began to reject her donor heart.

She spent weeks in intensive care but again bounced back, only for relatives to suffer fresh anguish when she had to return to the Freeman last month.

Llana’s health struggles have proved a bitter blow for brothers Saad, 27, Jassan, 24, Ahmed, 18 and sisters Maria, 23 and Zermeen, 17, who have been separated from their sister for weeks.

Mr Qazi added; “At the moment only myself and Shazeb are allowed in the room with Llana, so her brothers and sisters can only look at her through the glass window.

“God willing she will make a full recovery.”

Mr Qazi has hailed the support of Llana’s medical staff and the South Tyneside community throughout the family’s plight.

He is eager to thank the family of the organ donor who has given fresh life to another through their death.