Hartlepool girl, 5, has New Year's wish granted with kidney transplant

Poppy Lancaster has received a kidney transplant. Credit: Gavin Lancaster

A five-year-old girl's life has been "transformed" following a successful kidney transplant.

Poppy Lancaster was diagnosed with kidney failure in May 2019 and had her first transplant in January 2021 but it had to be removed again after it failed days later.

In January, her New Year's was a for new kidney and it has been granted after she received a second transplant in May.

She has defied expectations since, all thanks to her new kidney which she has named George.

"She's got 10 times the energy she's had since she got George the kidney," Poppy's dad Gavin told ITV Tyne Tees. "She doesn't get tired all the time.

"It's just been the biggest transformation I've ever seen. She is just unbelievable."

The Lancaster family got the call that there was a kidney suitable for Poppy on the morning of 3 May. Mr Lancaster was halfway through servicing a boiler at the time but rushed home to get Poppy to hospital to prepare for her transplant.

She received her new kidney the next day and was full of energy the morning after, following a good sleep.

"I answered the phone from my wife Becky the next day, but it wasn't Becky it was Poppy," Mr Lancaster said. "She was sat, wide awake with this big cheeky grin on her face sat up in bed and shouted 'morning dad' really loud.

"She then called her sister Violet, brother Higham, and me stinky, while blowing raspberries and giggling her head off.

"I was gobsmacked - she had just come out of surgery 14 hours ago!

"From there she just got better and better and better. The first thing she asked for when she got onto the ward was pizza. For most of her life, she hasn't bothered with anything to eat but half an hour later she was shovelling cheese and tomato pizza into her mouth.

"It was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen and three months down the line she hasn't stopped eating pizza."

Poppy has developed a love of pizza since her transplant. Credit: Gavin Lancaster

Poppy was allowed to return home just 12 days after her transplant - the quickest her consultant had ever allowed one of his transplant patients to leave hospital.

Before her transplant, Poppy required 10 hours of dialysis a day six days a week while her kidney function had fallen to 7%. Now, she has her freedom back, she has been able to go back to school and only needs to return to hospital once a week to complete routine tests. Her kidney function has increased to 94%.

"The RVI and the Great North Children's Hospital have been absolutely fantastic," Mr Lancaster said. "She's had absolutely unbelievable care."

Poppy was treated like royalty while in hospital. Credit: Gavin Lancaster

Poppy is now looking forward to life with her new kidney. She starts Year 1 in September and will spend time at the family's holiday caravan 'Poppy's Place' - a fitting place to relax and unwind after he experience.

"She's just dealt with everything so well," Mr Lancaster said. "It's everything, it's the energy she's got. It's the eating every single day, she's growing, getting taller and putting plenty of weight on.

"That little girl is just unbelievable and she just continues to be. It's one of the best feelings in the world."

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