Second heart transplant for teenager

TEENAGER Emily Gentry is looking forward to Christmas after receiving the best present she could have ever hoped for - a new heart.

TEENAGER Emily Gentry is looking forward to Christmas after receiving the best present she could have ever hoped for - a new heart.

The 13-year-old's joy is a far cry from last year when medics warned that she was at risk unless the complicated operation took place.

When Emily, who suffered from a life threatening heart condition, was six she had her first heart transplant.

But due to complications, medics warned that she would need another this year to survive.


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After enduring her second transplant, Emily, of Mallard Way, Ipswich, is on top of the world and looking forward to returning to life as a normal teenager.

It has just been a few weeks since she underwent the complex surgery but already she is noticing the difference, most notably being able to walk further without feeling breathless.

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Emily said: “I had just accepted my condition but was so shocked when I heard about the organ donor.

“I couldn't do much without getting tired and breathless. I just wanted to be like my friends.

“Now I can go swimming again which will be nice as I haven't been able to do any exercise. I am looking forward to going back to school and being with all my friends again.”

She hopes to be back to Chantry High School by the end of January and is looking forward to spending a quiet Christmas at home with her loving parents Marie and Mark.

It was on November 13 when the call came to say a heart had become available - and mum Mrs Gentry remembers the moment as if it was yesterday.

With their bags already packed, the family headed straight to Great Ormond Street in London and that night, Emily had her second life saving operation.

Mrs Gentry said: “It is all a bit of a blur but we were just so happy to get that call. We never thought it would happen.

“We would just like to say a big thank you to the donor and their family - whoever they are, and to all the other donors out there. It means such a lot to people like Emily. Fingers crossed this will be the last heart she needs.

“We would say to people please sign the donor register to give other people like my daughter the gift of life and hope for the future. The more people that sign up, the more lives that can be saved.”

The Gentry family would like people to consider giving the gift of life this Christmas by getting a donor card. There are more than 8,000 people waiting for a transplant right now. Due to the shortage of donors, 1,000 of those will not be as lucky as Emily and will die next year.

You can register online as an organ donor at www.uktransplant.org.uk or by phoning 0845 6060400.

To find out more about organ donation and how you can support Live Life Then Give Life visit www.livelifethengivelife.co.uk

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