County Durham toddler enjoys first Christmas at home since receiving life-saving heart transplant

  • Watch Emily Reader's report

A two-year-old girl has been able to enjoy a normal Christmas after receiving a heart transplant earlier this year.

Beatrix Archbold-Adamson from County Durham suffered a cardiac arrest when she was one and was later diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy.

Her life was saved by open-heart surgery but she spent 14 months in hospital attached to a machine called a Berlin heart, which mechanically supports patients with heart failure.

Last Christmas, Beatrix wished for a new heart and her life has been transformed since receiving one in the first half of the year.

Beatrix Archbold-Adamson spent 14 months in hospital before receiving her transplant. Credit: Family

"I keep thinking about last Christmas, where we were and what feelings we had around being in hospital at that time," Beatrix's mum Cheryl Adamson told ITV Tyne Tees. "That deep sadness we weren't with family and friends and we didn't know the outcome for Bea.

"It felt like a never-ending wait, 'will it happen for her, will we get the call, will she get her chance', then fast forward to the summer to it become a reality for her. A lot to celebrate and a lot to process."

Her dad Terry Archbold added: "Having Bea at home and alive, with a life ahead of her - nothing will ever top that. I refer to it as the greatest gift ever and that's the gift of life."

With the end of 2023 close, the family recalled the moment that they found out Beatrix would receive her new heart and their mixed emotions about what that would mean.

Beatrix Archbold-Adamson playing with her parents Terry and Cheryl. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

"There joy that there was some hope that we might get to start the next stage of her journey and might actually get to come home," Mr Archbold explained. "There was fear over whether she would survive the surgery.

"And there was a huge amount of appreciation for what was going on, at the other side. Understanding that as we are feeling hope, someone else is realising there is no hope for their child."

Beatrix has been able to return home since the life-saving transplant and has been able to embrace a normal childhood again.

"Every breath, everything she does moving forward from that moment is due to the courage of another family and that is incredible and really hard to put into words," Mr Archbold said.

"It's not just life, it's living, it's thriving, it's life outside of a hospital bed," Ms Adamson added. "It's really living and she certainly lives her life to the max."

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