The Northern Echo
A HEART transplant recipient who has devoted her career to the NHS in gratitude for her care is set to celebrate the 25th anniversary of her life-saving surgery.
Emma Thompson, a healthcare assistant in the orthopaedic outpatients department at the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, was among the first people to receive a donated heart at the Freeman Hospital, in Newcastle, which launched its transplant programme.
As a toddler, she had been unable to chew or sit unsupported due to a congenital heart condition, and ahead of the operation when she was aged three, her parents were terrified, despite having complete faith in the surgeons.
Miss Thompson, of Stokesley, said: "After the transplant my parents were told by the doctors to go home and enjoy the time they would have with me - in the early days of the service they didn't know how it was going to pan out.
"I had a very normal childhood and managed to hit every milestone, so I want to highlight how amazing our NHS is.
"My care has always been incredible and the people at the Freeman Hospital I love like my family."
She said after working in childcare, she decided she wanted to give something back to the NHS for the care she had received. Continue reading