'Thank you will never be enough' - Teenager saved by heart transplant meets the family of her donor for the first time
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Kayleigh Lewellyn was just 12 when she underwent the life-saving transplant at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital in November 2019 after being diagnosed with a form of heart disease called cardiomyopathy.
Since then the Seaham youngster has made an incredible recovery and decided to pay tribute to Sinead Bree, the 19-year-old woman who gave her the gift of life.
But at the finish line the 14-year-old was left speechless after coming face-to-face with her donor’s family for the first time in a surprise meeting.
"It was emotional,” dad, Shaun Sidney, said.
"Kayleigh was in shock and lost for words.
"It was just nice for them to take the time and effort to come across from Doncaster and see what she was doing.
"It was absolutely amazing to meet them and there were more tears than anything else.
"The family are just so delighted that Kayleigh has kept in touch with them and the progress that she is making.”
But Sinead’s mum, Shirley, aunties Vicky and Cheryl and cousins Bronwyn and Scarlett, were there to meet her as she crossed the finish line in Seaham after walking for more than six hours.
After the emotional meeting the two families visited the tree planted in memory of Sinead at Seaham Cemetery.
"We took them to Seaham Cemetery and showed them the memory tree where we paid our respects,” dad Shaun added.
"They were just blown away by all the effort.
"We said that thank you will never be enough, Sinead saved our daughter’s life.”
The family are now hoping to reach £4,000 from the walk with the fundraising page remaining open in the hope of hitting the target.
Shaun added: “Thank you to everybody who turned up, the family along the route cheering Kayleigh on, and everybody who donated.”
To donate visit: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SoniaLlewellyn