Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

She Was Just Too Small to Fight Anymore

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

She Was Just Too Small to Fight Anymore

Article excerpt

Byline: Kate Proctor and Lucy Thornton

TRAGIC Tiarna Middleton was cradled for the very first time by her mum - just moments before she passed away.

The 18-day-old girl, who was the youngest and smallest infant in the world to be fitted with a Berlin heart, died just a few tragiuc days after her operation.

Doctors at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle had hoped the device would buy her precious extra weeks of life before a heart donor could be found in a worldwide search.

But on Monday night medics prepared her devastated parents for the worst and told the couple the heartbreakign news that they feared Tiarna was not going to make it.

Mum Sharney Gray, 22, of Rowlands Gill in Gateshead, said: "The doctors warned us that the end was close, so we were prepared for losing her.

"In the end she was just too small and fragile to fight any more but at least I got to say 'goodbye.' "I held her in my arms which is the first time I've been able to give her a cuddle.

"Near the end she opened her eyes and looked at me.

"It was the saddest way that we could have looked at each other."

Sharney wasn't able to hold her baby daughter following her delivery by caesarean section on May 22 as she was taken straight into a special care unit.

Dad Gary Middleton, 25, had cuddled her during the first few hours after her birth but as soon as she fell critically ill she was too poorly to be moved.

The only contact that the couple and their son Jamie, two, had during her time in hospital was to stroke her tiny hand.

Tiarna's parents and their family and friends have now said they will do all that they can to raise money for the Children's Heart Unit at the Freeman Hospital (CHUF) charity.

And they are determined to make people aware of the importance of signing up to the organ donor register.

Sharney and Gary also courageously spoke out about the UK's current donor rules which forbid babies under two months old from becoming organ donors.

Well-wishers from across Tyneside left 450 messages of condolence within just a few hours of learning of Tiarna's death.

moved by Tiarna's illness to pressure for change to make sure babies under two months old in the UK can become donors. …

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