Sarah Codling, a 30-year-old mum of one from Woodgate Valley, underwent emergency heart surgery at QEHB in January 2015 after suffering a congenital heart defect, since birth.
She said: “I have suffered with Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA) all my life, but following the birth of my son, Jake, my health started to deteriorate rapidly.”
Sarah found herself barely able to walk or even breathe without extreme difficulty, and her mum became her carer.
She said: “It was really hard. My heart was always a ticking time bomb; I knew at some point it was going to deteriorate, but I didn’t know when. I arranged care for Jake before the operation - I was under no illusion that the transplant may not be a success. The impact on my family was profound. We all waited with baited breath for a heart, and I can only imagine what must have been going through my parents’ minds as I was on the operating table.
“Luckily, eight days after going on the urgent list I had the life-saving operation.”
Sarah raised money to help bring Heart in a Box to the hospital, and said: “The transplant team at QEHB are amazing and took such good care of me. Thanks to them my nine year old son has his mum back. As a heart transplant patient I know only too well how desperate you can feel whilst waiting for a heart to become available, whilst being overwhelmed with a great sadness knowing that someone has lost their life.
"This machine means that more patients will be able to make the most of organs that become available, more people can have successful transplants and more people will go on to make a full recovery like me.”
To donate to Heart in a Box and help more people get the heart transplants they need, please click the 'donate to this fund' button at the top of this page, or call 0121 371 4852 for more information.