Anna urges more to take message to heart - The Evesham Observer

Anna urges more to take message to heart

Evesham Editorial 8th Oct, 2019   0

A SPORTY county teenager who has been waiting for a heart transplant for more than year has launched a plea for help to get more people talking about organ donation.

Anna Hadley, 14, is among the one in four children on the transplant waiting list in need of a heart and young patients face a much longer wait for an urgent heart transplant than adults.

NHS Blood and Transplant has highlighted cases such like the city teenager’s to mark World Heart Day last Sunday (September 29) in the hope families will talk about organ donation and share their decision to help save more young lives.

There are 192 children in the UK waiting for organ transplant and 42 of them need a heart. It is particularly difficult to find a donor for children and babies in need of a heart. The size of the heart is important, meaning a donor of a similar size is needed.




As a result young patients face a wait for an urgent heart transplant that is more than two and a half times as long as for adult patients. The average waiting time on the urgent heart transplant list for adults is 30 days and for children in desperate need of a heart, the average waiting time is 79 days.

Anna suffers with restrictive cardiomyopathy, a rare heart condition which was only discovered after she collapsed in 2016 and 2017.


It has left her unable to do many of the sports she loves and facing a heart transplant to save her life.

“I am an extremely sporty person but because of my condition I have had to restrict myself. My heart can’t cope,” she said.

“I’ve had to stop doing some of the things I love to do. I’d just got into the county hockey squad when I was diagnosed so not being able to carry on with it has been the most disappointing thing.

“When I first found out about my condition I was extremely scared and frightened. We used to be on edge waiting for a call and every time the phone rang we thought that was it.

“We’ve now got used to it and I don’t think about it too much, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

“A transplant would mean everything to me. I could go back to enjoying every day life and doing everything I really enjoy. I would feel really blessed and incredibly thankful to the donor and family that donated to me,” she said.

Dad Andy added: “We were absolutely devastated to get the diagnosis, there have been some very hard times and difficult conversations.

“But we keep positive, we’re the lucky ones, we get to go home from hospital and be together and live our lives as normally as possible. We’re making the most of life.

“We would ask everyone to talk about organ donation, parents, children, everyone and let you loved ones know what you’d want.”

Visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk for more.

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