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News - Nurse and babyWhen four-month-old Kaylee Davidson was admitted to Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital in October 1987 with heart failure, a transplant was her only hope. However, as one of the youngest children ever put forward for the procedure, history was not on her side. Neverthless, surgeons at the Freeman believed a transplant was worth attempting.

Two decades later, Kaylee is a living testament to the skill and instinct of those surgeons. So much so that she has recently returned from the World Transplant Games in Thailand, where she represented the UK in athletics and badminton.

Today, the Freeman carries out around eighty transplants a year, the largest programme of its kind in the UK. It’s also one of only two national centres for children’s transplant surgery and accepts patients from across Britain and Northern Ireland. In the years following Kaylee’s successful transplant around 150 other children have also received new hearts. Each and every operation is complicated, time consuming and carries enormous risks.

But don’t ask us whether we think it’s worth the effort. Ask Kaylee.

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