A toddler who became the first child in the UK to use a mobile heart has finally received a transplant, after a two-year wait.
Grace Westwood was born with a damaged left ventricle in November 2019 and fell seriously ill months later.
She was kept alive with a Berlin heart device, but doctors admit it is rare for children to be on them for so long.
Grace has now received a new organ after a match was found.
Today her relieved parents Becci Jones and Darren Westwood said a thank you “just wasn’t enough” for the donor family who had saved her life.
Becci added: “How do you put into words the gift they’ve given us? They’ve lost a child and have given us so much.”
Darren said of the moment a new heart was found: “It felt surreal. Everyone was in tears.”
Grace’s Berlin device had a battery which allowed her to leave her ward at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.
Consultant paediatric cardiologist Abbas Khushnood said her surviving so long on the machine “gives us more hope for children with heart failure to be able to get a transplant”.
When Grace, of Birmingham – who has an elder brother Josh, six – fell ill she was airlifted to the Freeman. Mirror organ donor campaigner Max Johnson also received his heart there.
Her organ donor joy came just days after the Mirror highlighted an appeal for help by the families of five children waiting for heart transplants.