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A little girl from Peterborough is facing her second Christmas waiting for a heart transplant.

Georgia, who is four, is one of 47 patients awaiting the life-saving gift of an organ transplant in Cambridgeshire.

Although she is currently stable and at home with her family, winter is a worrying time for them and they have noticed she tires more and is eating less.

READ MORE: Latest from PeterboroughLive

Her mum Jodie says “everything is on hold” as the wait for a new heart continues but they are trying to make every day as special as possible.



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Jodie, who has been inspired to become a healthcare assistant with the hope of going on to nursing, said: “It’s tough, it feels a bit like the last year has gone really fast but slow at the same time.

“It feels like everything is on hold. Are we a year closer to her getting her heart?

“It’s another year of her waiting and she’s not getting any better, it’s really hard. It’s scary, at the moment Georgia is stable but if she deteriorates quickly, they can’t just order a heart.

“Georgia is definitely more tired, she’s eating less and less, we worry about her catching illnesses – winter is always hard and she could end up in hospital.

“We can’t really plan much but we’re trying to make things as special as we can. We take things day by day.”

The Covid pandemic has made the wait for Georgia’s new heart even harder for the family, Jodie says.

She said: “People can say we’ll do it next year but we can never really think like that. We don’t know how much time we have. We want to make the most of every day right now and not being able to see family has been hard, and we have to stay safe.

“We’re always thinking of and wishing for Georgia to get her new heart.



Georgia with mum Jodie, dad Adam and sister Millie
Georgia with mum Jodie, dad Adam and sister Millie

“She gets frustrated and upset, she asks when can she get her new heart and how will she get it? Why cant she run after her friends at school? Why does she have to keep going to the doctors and her friends don’t?

“It’s hard, we tell her we don’t know when but it’s very special and not many people get a new heart.

“I’m grateful to have her at home with us and for every Christmas. It puts it all into perspective, it’s not about presents, food or decorations, but being together. We want Georgia stable and at home.”

Last year Georgia was poorly in hospital and was only able to go home to be with mum Jodie, dad Adam and sister Millie on December 23.

Jodie said: “Georgia is very caring and got a doctors kit last Christmas, which she uses on her toys and our puppy, Charlie!

“A year ago Millie wanted to ask Santa for a new heart for her and we had to explain it doesn’t work like that.

“Christmas will be the four of us at home in our matching pjs. This year we’ll see family over Christmas which will be extra special after being apart last year.

“We don’t know how many more Christmasses we’re going to get. It’s hard because you think is this the last time we’re going to do this, will we be looking back on this as a memory soon?

“When you think you might have limited time, it’s hard. We try and take each day and carry on as normally as possible, we keep positive and really value everything.

“Our Christmas wish is for Georgia to get her new heart. Last year we thought maybe by this Christmas, now we think maybe by next Christmas.”



Georgia, who needs a heart transplant, at home in Peterborough with sister Millie last Christmas
Georgia, who needs a heart transplant, at home in Peterborough with sister Millie last Christmas

The family hope that if Georgia gets a new heart in 2022, they will be able to make plans again – and dream of going on holiday.

Jodie said: “We’d be able to breathe again, it’s always on our minds.

“For Georgia she wouldn’t be so tired at school, she’d be able to enjoy things more, eat better and just feel a bit more normal.

“It’s really important for people to think about organ donation for the whole family, not just themselves but children too. Me and Adam have always been on the register but you don’t think about it for your children.

“But anyone of us at any age can die at any time, if you’ve already had the conversations, it makes it much easier for everyone and people can be given hope and another chance.

“It’s really sad to think that children lose their lives, however it can give another family a second chance and give pride to a family going through such a loss.

“It must be devastating to have a Christmas without one of your children there. A family agreeing to organ donation can stop another family going through that. Please think about organ donation for the whole family.”

Families urged to talk about organ donation this Christmas

As Christmas approaches NHS Blood and Transplant is calling on families in Cambridgeshire to talk about organ donation and register their decision to help save lives.

With some families hoping to get together for Christmas for the first time since the pandemic began, it says people should leave their family members certain of what they want to happen.

Anthony Clarkson, Director of Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation at NHSBT, said: “Wherever and however people in Cambridgeshire plan to spend this Christmas, we hope that everyone will be able to enjoy the festivities and spend some much needed time with family and friends.



Georgia's mum Jodie says the family's lives are on hold until she gets a new heart
Georgia’s mum Jodie says the family’s lives are on hold until she gets a new heart

“For many thousands of people across the country, including 68 people in Cambridgeshire who have had transplants this year, the only reason that they are able to enjoy a happy and healthy Christmas is thanks to the generosity of a donor and their family who so selflessly chose to give the gift of life.

“However, there are still thousands of people who are still desperately hoping and waiting for the transplant that will transform their life.

“Please take a moment this Christmas to let your family know your organ donation decision. Those conversations could help save the lives of people currently spending their Christmas waiting for a transplant.”

What is the law around organ donation?

Even though the law around organ donation has now moved to an opt out system across England, Wales, and Scotland, many are still not aware that families will still always be consulted before organ donation goes ahead.

While families are more likely, and find it easier, to support donation when they already know it is what their loved one wanted, only 42% of the UK population have registered their decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register – and just 37% say that they have shared their organ donation decision with their family.

How to register your organ donation decision

For more information, or to register your organ donation decision, visit: www.organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300 123 23 23.

NHS app users can also use the service to record, check or update their organ donation decision.

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