Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Please God, Let a Heart Come Tonight So She Won't Have to Struggle and Wait; Desperate Mum and Dad Praying for a Miracle to Save Their Little Girl

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Please God, Let a Heart Come Tonight So She Won't Have to Struggle and Wait; Desperate Mum and Dad Praying for a Miracle to Save Their Little Girl

Article excerpt

Byline: SARAH SCOTT

CLINGING to life, little Scarlett Ungurs is in desperate need of a new heart - but all she and her doting parents can do is wait and pray. Sitting by her bedside in the heart unit at Newcastle's Freeman Hospital, dad Darren and mum Ashleigh Leybourne keep their fingers crossed that their 19-month-old daughter will get the heart she has been waiting for.

"We just think, 'Please God, let a heart come tonight so she will not have to struggle and wait'," said mum Ashleigh.

The family, of Shiremoor in North Tyneside, have had a rollercoaster of a year as Scarlett was struck down with a virus which left her with a heart disease known as dilated cardiomyopathy when she was just six months old.

The rare condition means the heart becomes weakened and enlarged and cannot pump blood efficiently.

But despite doctors hoping her heart had healed itself after being hooked up to an artificial heart machine last year, Scarlett is back on the emergency transplant list.

"Last year when she got a bit better, her heart was still not up to what it should have been. It has just gone downhill," said 26-year-old Ashleigh.

Ashleigh and partner Darren, have been by their daughter's bedside for two months since she was readmitted in May.

"She had a big operation on Wednesday and she was in quite a lot of trouble, but she got through it and is on a ventilator at the moment," said Ashleigh, who worked as an NHS receptionist.

"We are desperate."

The mum-of-one has made a plea urging others to sign up as organ donors to help save the lives of those, like her daughter, desperately awaiting transplants.

"Baby hearts are the hardest to get. If you say to parents after their child has passed away, can you open them up and take everything, it is a lot for parents to deal with.

"I think a lot of parents are not aware how many children will die without getting their transplant.

"Adults seem to get more because if an adult passes away it is their choice, and a lot are already on the organ donor register. …

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