A TOUCHING message has been left on a social networking site praising the bravery of a South Tyneside mum driving a ‘lifesaving’ campaign.
It is four weeks today since Sharon Eckert launched ‘In Miley’s Memory’ following the death of her beloved daughter Miley Turbitt.
The 14-week-old, diagnosed with a severe form of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, died last November after a Europe-wide search for a heart donor failed to find one in time.
The Gazette-backed campaign aims to encourage people of all ages to sign up to the organ donation register.
Now, the tireless work of Miley’s mum and family has been praised by the family of toddler Carina Marcangelo after we revealed last week that 275 people in South Tyneside have signed up to the organ donation register since the start of the campaign.
The one-year-old, from London, suffers from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and is being cared for at the Royal Brompton Hospital while waiting on the transplant list for a new heart.
In a touching message left for Miley’s family on a Facebook page set up in her memory, she wrote: “What you are doing is amazing.
“I am a one-year-old also with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and am on the waiting list for a new heart – have been since mid-November.
“Raising awareness like you are doing will hopefully help me and many others desperately waiting for an organ.”
The message brought tears to the eyes of Ms Eckert, who is now praying a heart can be found for little Carina, whose story can be followed by visiting www.carinamarcangelo.com
The 38-year-old from Westmorland Road, South Shields said: “I was really touched by not only the message, but the fact her family took the time to read Miley’s story and post a comment.
“It is a really sad story, and I know exactly what Carina’s family are going through.
“Tto receive a message like this, really brings home the kind of impact this campaign is having on people.
“I really hope a heart is found for Carina.”
Carina’s dad Darren, 40, said: “I think it is amazing what the family are doing to raise awareness. Even though they have gone through such a difficult time, they are still thinking of others.
“It is such a horrible time waiting for a heart, it really is hell on earth.
“Everything Miley’s family are doing is raising awareness, and that’s superb. We desperately need to change the culture around organ donation and encourage more people to
sign up to the organ donation register.”
The family are also petitioning for a change in the organ donation system to one which is automatic unless a person opts out.
To date, more than 500 people have signed the petition calling for the change.
Completed forms should be handed in to the Shields Gazette reception in Chapter Row no later than March 28.