Nurse who had life-saving heart transplant aged 10 now needs a new kidney

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A mother-of-two who was inspired to become a nurse after a life-saving heart transplant aged 10 has now been told she needs a new kidney.

Emma Standish’s organs are failing due to damage caused by immunosuppressants, medication taken to stop the body attacking the donor heart.

The drugs suppress, or reduce the strength of the body’s immune system and are used to makes the body less likely to reject a transplanted organ. 

Emma Standish (above), 27, from Bolton, become a nurse after a life-saving heart transplant aged 10

Emma Standish (above), 27, from Bolton, become a nurse after a life-saving heart transplant aged 10

Emma Standish (above), 27, from Bolton, become a nurse after a life-saving heart transplant aged 10

The 27-year-old from Bolton said apart from her kidneys she is in good health.

She told the Mirror: ‘My heart is fabulous – they found the perfect heart.

‘People are shocked when they find out about my transplant as I’m just a normal girl.

‘The doctors told my parents that if I didn’t get a heart transplant I was going to die. I had no idea what was going to happen and I was so poorly I just wanted to give up fighting.’ 

Emma was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart’s ability to pump blood is decreased, at the age of nine.

The condition is caused by the main pumping chamber of the organ becoming enlarged and weakend and in Emma’s case it left her muscle  stretched and unable to beat properly.

She was rushed 150 miles from the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital to Newcastle Freeman Hospital to be fitted with a mechanical heart after she was given just 72 hours to live.

The mother-of-two was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart's ability to pump blood is decreased, at the age of nine

The mother-of-two was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart's ability to pump blood is decreased, at the age of nine

The mother-of-two was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart’s ability to pump blood is decreased, at the age of nine

However a suitable donor was found just in time and Emma was able to proceed with a heart-transplant.

Following her surgery nearly 20 years ago Emma has had children – Ava, seven, and Harrison, three – with partner Wayne.

Emma's organs are failing due to damage caused by  medication taken to stop the body attacking the donor heart. The drugs suppress, or reduce the strength of the body's immune system and are used to makes the body less likely to reject a transplanted organ

Emma's organs are failing due to damage caused by  medication taken to stop the body attacking the donor heart. The drugs suppress, or reduce the strength of the body's immune system and are used to makes the body less likely to reject a transplanted organ

Emma’s organs are failing due to damage caused by medication taken to stop the body attacking the donor heart. The drugs suppress, or reduce the strength of the body’s immune system and are used to makes the body less likely to reject a transplanted organ

Emma, who works at Royal Bolton Hospital, supports the government’s plans to change the rules regarding organ donation consent in England, which it is claimed could save up to 500 lives a year.

Earlier this year, MPs backed a bill requiring people to ‘opt out’ if they do not want their organs and announced it will change the law by 2020.

This week campaigners are continuing to raise awareness of the important need for organ donation as part of Organ Donation Week. 

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