Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Trip to Skiing Camp for Transplant Youngsters

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Trip to Skiing Camp for Transplant Youngsters

Article excerpt

Byline: Helen Rae Health Reporter

EXCITED Rachel Hooley will take to the snow as she joins a ski camp with other children who have received new organs from across the globe.

The young heart transplant recipient has had a difficult few weeks as she has been in and out of Newcastle's Freeman Hospital receiving treatment for migraines and stomach pains.

Fortunately, Rachel, 10, is well enough to travel to the Swiss mountains to take part in the annual TACKERS International Ski Camp in the village of Anzere.

As many as 11 transplant children, aged 10 to 15, who have received treatment at Newcastle's Freeman Hospital, will join 34 other youngsters who have been given a new organ.

Mum-of-two Eve, of Cramlington, Northumberland, said: "Rachel is hyper, she is so, so looking forward to the trip as she has never been away with other children in a similar situation to herself. It will be good for her to talk to other young people who know what it's like to have a transplant.

"It will be a fun, relaxed week and it's a great way to promote the importance of organ donation."

In 2012, Rachel, who has an older sister, Kate, underwent a heart transplant at Newcastle's Freeman hospital after she was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy - a form of heart failure.

The ski camp, which begins this Sunday, offers the opportunity for youngsters to celebrate their second chance of life, while also highlighting the importance of organ donation. Lynne Holt, transplant sport trustee and coordinator of the international medical team caring for the children, said: "All of these children have experienced near-death situations and long periods of illness. Without the 'gift of life' they simply would not be here today.

"We do hope that seeing these amazing youngsters will encourage people to talk to their families about organ donation and sign the NHS Organ Donor Register. …

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