A courageous youngster who triumphed over adversity to win her fight for life after receiving a second heart transplant is ready to fly the flag for other survivors.
Battling four-year-old Llana Qazi is back home in the loving arms of her family after staging a remarkable recovery from her second heart transplant in a short life spent beating the odds.
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.
Little Llana was too unwell to take part in the annual extravaganza when it was hosted in Gateshead last year – but she is set to be full of pride on Merseyside when the event moves to Liverpool in July.
Delighted mum Shaz Qazi, who runs Frydays fish and chip shop, in Smithy Street, South Shields, with husband Mohammad, is staggered by her daughter’s rapid return to health.
Mrs Qazi said: “After everything that she has been through, she is doing marvellous.
“She still has to have regular appointments at the hospital and is still on a lot of medication but they are very happy with her progress.
“It has been so tough for her but also for all of her family.
“She is full of energy and she is doing very well with her donor heart.”
Mrs Qazi says she is full of pride over Llana’s invitation in the British Transplant Games.
She added; “We are very proud that Llana has been asked to take part. She was invited last year but she wasn’t well enough to go along.
“But she will be taking part this year.”
Mrs Qazi says Llana is a bundle of energy.
She added; “A few months ago when she was in hospital we never thought we would see her like this. She is doing really well and, God willing, that will continue.”
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.