Celebration to mark heart girl's gift of life

TWELVE months ago Gabrysia Filarowski's parents got the call they had been waiting for.

Gabrysia, who was born with a rare heart defect, had been given months to live as doctors searched for a suitable donor heart but last July a match was found.

A year on, she is running around her home in Leeds like any other two-year-old.

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On Saturday, her family will mark the milestone with a ball to raise cash for the hospital where she had her lifesaving operation.

They will also be thinking of the family who lost their child and took the decision to donate their organs to help others.

Gabrysia's mother Angela, of Horsforth, said: "The transformation in her since last year is just phenomenal.

"It's without a doubt she would not be here had it not been for the actions of our donor family on that night.

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"They said in a letter that it gives them comfort that their little one dying has given life to so many people.

"They have gone through what we absolutely dreaded and we have no idea how they must be feeling but they are always in our thoughts."

Gabrysia had her transplant at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle. Afterwards she was isolated for several months to avoid potentially dangerous infection risks.

Angela, 33, added: "We were in clinic two weeks ago and the doctor said he was just amazed at how well she is doing."

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The youngster is now able to mix with other youngsters and is due to start pre-school in September.

Angela and her husband Andrew's charity ball to mark the first anniversary of Gabrysia's transplant will take place on Saturday, at the Queen's Hotel in Leeds.

As tickets have sold out, Angela hopes to raise more than 2,000 for the Children's Cardiac Transplant Fund at the Freeman Hospital.