Second heart transplant gives brave girl Christmas ‘gift of life’

Little Llana Qazi with dad  Mohammad Qazi  and mam Shazeb Qazi
Little Llana Qazi with dad Mohammad Qazi and mam Shazeb Qazi

A brave little girl has been given the ‘gift of life’ for Christmas – a second heart transplant.

The family of Llana Qazi have been desperately praying for a miracle since being told by doctors that the four-year-old needed an organ transplant last month.

Mohammad Qazi

She has been given the gift of life

Now she is recovering after getting a new heart at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.

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.

Since then her devoted parents, Mohammad and Shazeb Qazi, from Dean Road, South Shields, have remained by their daughter’s side in the hospital’s intensive care unit.

Now, after a donor organ became available on Thursday, the future looks a lot brighter for a girl forced to overcome a series of health setbacks in her short life.

Mr Qazi admits her future looked precarious as she struggled with an infection while facing a race against time to secure a new heart. Now the family feel “relief and delight”.

Llana underwent a gruelling eight-and-a-half-hour operation and remains in intensive care, with a long road to recovery ahead of her.

Mr Qazi says he is “forever grateful” to the medical staff, the support of the public – and the family of the 14-year-old donor who has given the chance of a new life to another.

The 53-year-old, who runs Frydays fish and chip shop with his family in South Shields, said; “Llana has been given the gift of life. It is still a long road to recovery for her, but we can see the way ahead more clearly now. We feel very lucky that she got the donor heart so quickly.

“She had been fighting an infection and the doctors had been telling us it might not be possible to do the transplant, but then she fought off the infection and the new heart became available.

“All we know is that the heart is from a 14-year-old child. We are forever grateful. The Freeman Hospital is a great place.”

He said: “I believe that God puts together a bunch of good people to help other people.”

Mr Qazi and his wife, and their five other children, sons Saad, 27, Jassan, 24, Ahmed, 18 and daughters Maria, 23 and Zermeen, 17, say they have been overwhelmed by the kindness of people throughout their plight.

Mr Qazi said: “We have been touched by the kindness of people. It really restores your faith in human nature.”

Mr Qazi is asking the community to continue to pray for his daughter as she bids to complete another remarkable recovery in the new year.