Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Their Little One Lives on through Louisa; I'm Going to Take Her to Meet Donor Family One Day, Says Heart Swap Poster Girl's Mum

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Their Little One Lives on through Louisa; I'm Going to Take Her to Meet Donor Family One Day, Says Heart Swap Poster Girl's Mum

Article excerpt

Byline: Claire Petulengro

LITTLE Louisa McGregor-Smith is a shining example of how important it is to sign up to the Organ Donor Register.

Now a picture of health with her rosy cheeks and blonde locks, it is hard to believe that just two years ago the bubbly little girl was a helpless five-month-old awaiting a lifesaving heart transplant.

Just like Normanby baby Ted Parks, Louisa was attached to a Berlin heart device, while her family prayed a donor would come forward.

Now, Louisa, of Longlands, Middlesbrough, is giving hope of finding a suitable donor to Ted's parents, as the little boy continues his own battle at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

Louisa's mum Samantha, 35, said: "I've spoken to Ted's mum and she was very positive after speaking to us. I'm hoping to take Louisa to see her before Christmas.

"It brought back a few bad memories seeing Ted.

"This time two years ago, Louisa had a Berlin heart fitted just like Ted has now."

On December 23, it will be two years since Louisa had her heart transplant. Samantha, a medical receptionist, is well aware of the heartbreaking circumstances that meant her daughter could survive.

She keeps in regular contact with Louisa's donor family, who endured the tragedy of losing their own child before making the courageous decision to save another.

"Louisa's donor family take great comfort in the fact that their little one lives on through Louisa," said Samantha. She's happy and healthy.

"We write them a couple of letters a year to let them know of Louisa's progress and they love to hear the stories I tell them and see the photos I send. Hopefully, I will take Louisa to meet them when she's old enough to understand."

Now the poster girl for national NHS campaigns Wall of Life and Transplants Save Lives, Louisa's bonny face is encouraging people across the UK to sign up to the Organ Donor Register. …

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