A brave little girl is recovering in hospital after undergoing a life-saving heart transplant operation - just days after doctors were preparing to end her care.
The family of Sophie Maxwell, three, were given the news they had been waiting her whole life, just before Christmas, that a donor had been found.
Just over a week earlier, her parents Kerryanne, 30, and Ian, 40, were told that medical staf were suggesting to end all care for their daughter after she contracted blood poisioning - but the couple refused.
The youngster has been battling against a rare congenital heart condition, that left the left ventricle severely underdeveloped, since she was born.
Sophie, from South Shields, underwent her heart transplant, last month, and is now recovering at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.
Her mum Kerryanne said: “I was terrified when she was diagnosed with Sepsis and on November 11. Doctors even gave us the option of ending all care by stopping her heart medication but that wasn’t even an option for us.
“I have fought for her for three years and I couldn’t not give her a chance at a normal life.
“She looks like a different child now. She finally has the heart she desperately needed.
“It’s such a relief whenan organ match was found. We were on the emergency donor list 10 for weeks.”
She added: “We were in complete shock when a nurse rang and explained she was likely to get a new heart.
“We are so thankful to her donor.
“We are huge advocates for organ donation now and hope our story inspires others to join the register.”
Sophie will continue to be monitored for the rest of her life.
To join the organ donor register visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk
*Ashfield Nursery. where Sophie is a pupil, is holding a charity fun day in aid of The Sick Children Trust who have supported Sophie and her family.
The event will be held at the nursery in Stanhope Road on February 26.