Parents of transplant girl make appeal for more organ donors to sign up
The grateful family of a battling little girl who has twice been given the gift of life by heart transplant surgery have issued a rallying cry for people to be organ donors.
Parents Mohammad and Shazeb Qazi say they a owe a debt of thanks that can never be measured to families who agreed in their moment of grief to allow their loved one’s hearts to be used to keep daughter Llana alive.
The four-year-old is still recovering at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary after receiving her second donor heart last month an d her family are living for the day she is well enough to return to her home in Dean Road, South Shields.
Llana only had to wait of a matter of weeks before a donor heart was found - but her family are only too aware that others are not so fortunate.
Now they are calling on more people to sign up to become organ donors - and be a life-saver. Llana first received a new heart at the age of just nine months in February 2012 but has been in hospital since November 7, since she suffered a chronic rejection of the donor organ.
She received the heart of a 14-year-child, with dad Mohammad Qazi says the youngster will ‘live on’ thanks to a family’s selfless act.
Mr Qazi, who runs Frydays fish and chip shop, in Smithy Street, South Shields, said: “We are so thankful to the family who agrred to donate their child’s heart. It is so important that people sign up to be an organ donor.
“I would be in favour of there being an opt-out scheme for donor registration, as is the case in Wales. The new heart is keeping Llana alive.
“The donor registration list saves lives and a little bit of your loved one will then always be alive.”
Over 100 people in Tyne and Wear were on the waiting list for a transplant when the latest figures were revealed - with 6,600 desperately waiting for an organ donation across the UK.
NHS Blood and Transplant is urging more people to sign up - and secure the blessing of their families - to give Llana and others like her a chance at a new life.
Jacki Newby, Specialist Nurse - Organ Donation at NHS Blood and Transplant said: “It is great news that Llana was able to get the transplant she so desperately needed.
“ I wish her and her family all the best for the future.
“It was very unfortunate that her body rejected the first transplant. Organ donation saves and improves lives and Llana is testament to that. Llana was able to receive both transplants because two families made the decision to donate their loved one’s organs and help to save lives.
“There are currently around 6,600 people desperately waiting for a transplant and of those 169 are under the age of 18.
“In order for more children like Llana to get the transplant the need, more people need to join the Organ Donor Register and ask their family to support their decision.”
To sign up to become an orgon donor, call NHS Blood and Transplant on 0300 123 23 23 or visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk/faq/organ-donor-register