July 16, 2008

Grief for Transplant Tot Zoe

A TODDLER who topped the European transplant list to receive a donor heart has died.

Zoe Chambers underwent a 10-hour operation at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle last June, after she was born with narrow heart valves and suffered six cardiac arrests.

Medical staff were so concerned for her health before the transplant they issued an appeal, and she was placed at the top of the European waiting list, so if an organ became available, it would be flown to Newcastle by private jet.

Last month the two-year-old's parents, Rob and Julie, threw a party for Zoe in their home city of Hull, East Yorkshire, to celebrate a full year of good health since she received her new heart.

She was also due to be the youngest competitor at the British Transplant Games in Sheffield in August.

Transplant Sport UK confirmed the toddler had died. Carol Olley, a paediatric representative with the charity, said: "We are greatly saddened at the loss of Zoe Chambers, one of our youngest members.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Chambers family at this sad time." After Zoe's operation last year, Julie Chambers, 34, said she would not stop campaigning to urge more people to become organ donors.

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