Whitehaven girl urgently needs heart transplant

Katelyn McAleavy Photo: ITV News Border

The family of an eight year old girl from Whitehaven are asking people to sign up to the organ donor register as she desperately needs a heart transplant.

Katelyn McAleavy was born with a heart defect which required her to have the first of three major operations when she was just five days old.

Her family were told in November that the condition of her heart had deteriorated rapidly and a heart transplant was the only option they have left.

Katelyn has been on the donor list since November and her family worry her time will run out before she can have the operation.

Speaking to ITV Border today the One Direction fan said she hoped that she would get a new heart so she could be a nurse.

"I want to be a nurse when I grow up to help other boys and girls like me. I want to help them better."

– Katelyn McAleavy

Her family say their lives are on hold as the call from the hospital to say their is a donor organ waiting could happen at any time.

''We always knew one day that Katelyn would need a transplant but we believed it to be in her teen years, further down the line but unfortunately last November during a routine check up with the cardiologist the problems were detected and we've now got to the stage where transplant is now the only option.

"Basically at the moment life is on hold. We can't look forward to the future, it's just on hold, it has been an awful time since November is just constantly with us and it would just be great to have a good outcome and for her to get through this and receive the heart she needs and we can carry on and have a happy future together."

– Steven Lamb, Grandfather

Her mother Amy says she understands that people may not want to think about what will happen to them when they die but one person could save the lives of eight people on a transplant list: