The medics who saved tiny Benjamin’s life will always be part of his family, his mum has said.
Ashley Hardy has spent much of the past 10 months at her son’s bedside as she waited for him to receive a heart transplant.
While she was 200 miles from home, nurses, doctors and surgeons have helped keep her and her family comfortable at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital,
Ashley said: “This hospital is amazing. I can’t thank the doctors and nurses and surgeons enough.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my down days with them, because I’ve been here for such a long time, but in my heart I love them so much.
“Watching them work around the clock, not just with Benjamin but with other poorly kids, and they do such an amazing job.
“They save so many people’s lives - children and adults.
“They will always be part of my family.”
One of the most important people in Benjamin’s life has been paediatric cardiologist David Crossland.
Ashley said:” David is the man who fought for Benjamin. I love him,
“The surgeon who did the transplant was so pleased when it was finished. He had done all of his heart surgery and he has finished the job on a good note. He looked so happy.”
David said he was thrilled Benjamin had managed to have his transplant.
He said: “I was on call the night he was born, so he has been my patient.
“For him its fairly amazing to get this far - the chance of getting to this point was fairly low all along - to get to this stage, to still be alive and transplanted is less than 30 per cent.
“We were very worried a heart wasn’t going to come up for him because he had raised anti-bodies which meant even if a heart came up of the right size, and blood group it still
might not be right. About 70- 80 per cent of donors were rejected. There was surprise and delight when the right heart became available.
“We say to parents there is an 80 per cent chance of being alive with the new heart for 10 years - our longest surviving patient is 30 years old.
“Everything worked right for Benjamin. It is great seeing him now. Some babies struggle, but he absolutely flew.
“Apart from the heart transplant he is completely normal.”