Liver transplant girl Hannah backs organ donor campaign

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A GRATEFUL young woman from Bishopbriggs has told how her life was saved as a baby by a generous organ donor.

Hannah Mackereth (20) was only seven months old when she underwent a life-saving liver transplant.

Within weeks of being born on June 15, 1992, Hannah was diagnosed with a condition called biliary atresia, which affects the natural flow of bile through the ducts.

An operation to correct the problem was unsuccessful and Hannah’s parents Jackie and Paul began the uncertain wait for a donor.

Fortunately, a match was found within weeks and Hannah underwent the operation on February 5, the following year.

She now lives life to the full and is studying physiology at Glasgow University and hopes to go on to become a doctor in paediatrics.

Hannah, who lives with her family - including sister Olivia (18) - in Bishopbriggs, is also looking forward to celebrating her 21st birthday later this year.

The former Turnbull High School pupil said: “I was probably aged seven or eight when I was told about the liver transplant.

“I’ve not done anything different at all, I have a normal life.

“I dance, play basketball, I’m part of a youth group that goes to Lourdes every year and I’m a student rep for my course.

“The transplant has given me a second chance at life. I’m so grateful.”

To celebrate 20 years since Hannah’s transplant, the family is holding a fundraising event in Bishopbriggs for family and friends next month in aid of the Liver Unit at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

They will also be raising awareness about organ donation and the NHS Organ Donor Register.

Hannah is also backing a national campaign encouraging people to have a “wee chat” about organ donation.

She joined the Great British Bake Off runner-up, James Morton, to urge people to make time to express their wishes and join the NHS Organ Donor Register.

Hannah added: “It’s an amazing thing to do. What greater gift can you give someone than the gift of life?”

To find out more about organ donation and to join the NHS Organ Donor Register, visit www.organdonationscotland.org or text WEECHAT to 61611.

See this week’s paper for the full story.

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