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Dr. Christiaan N. Barnard
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Heart Transplants

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Carers Story
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Waiting For Transplant
Diana Chandler

Shannon Curran
Heart Transplant at 3 months old

Shannon Curran

Had a transplant operation at three-months-old when she was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, or an enlarged heart.

She was so ill, that doctors feared she would not survive the journey to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London for a seven-hour life-saving operation. However, that was nine months ago and the transplant was a resounding success.

Now the little girl is celebrating her first birthday.

To mark the occasion her parents took her back to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children to thank the staff who cared for her - and make their appeal for more donors.

Her father, Adrian, said: "She was thirteen weeks old whenever she had her operation. Six weeks after she was born that's when she took very ill. It was terrible, a terrible time."

Cardiologist Dr Brian Craig "She, amazingly, made a very difficult, arduous trip by ambulance to Great Ormond Street and survived her surgery and you have seen today the outcome from that.

"She has made a remarkable recovery from her heart transplant. Today at a year of age, she is really very well on a few medications. " Between five and 10 patients in Northern Ireland are waiting for new hearts at any one time. However, a third of those on the waiting list die before a donor is found.

Shannon Curran & ParentsDonna said she and her husband wanted others to sign up to the donor register, after the success of her child's operation.

"Shannon is such a miracle child. Only for a donor, she would not have made it," she said.

"It is to encourage other people to sign up to the donor register and see the chances that other people can give, through tragedy, unfortunately."

Her parents say they will never forget the staff in Belfast and in London who made her life possible.

Adrian and Donna want to share their story to encourage people to join the organ donor register as well as offer encouragement and hope to other that way have to follow in their footsteps.

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