A heartfelt fundraising ball will be held this month to celebrate five years since a little north-east girl’s life was saved by the kindness of an organ donor.
Sadie Merrin was just seven years old on Hogmanay 2012 when she finally received her life-changing new heart through complex transplant surgery.
>> Keep up to date with the latest news with The P&J newsletter
Soon after she was born in 2005 her mother Karen, herself a neonatal nurse, started to notice her health deteriorating.
Her baby’s hands were often chilly and clammy, and doctors eventually diagnosed the newborn with dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition where the heart is too large to effectively pump blood throughout the body.
For the next seven years, the family spent countless months in and out of children’s hospitals in Aberdeen, Glasgow and Newcastle as they desperately waited for the news that a “golden heart” had been found for Sadie, who believed only a truly “golden person” would be good enough to donate their most vital organ.
Since her surgery, Sadie has been able to follow her dreams and live the life of any other little girl in the north-east.
Her family – who are originally from Aberdeen but now live in Moray – have supported her in everything she has set her mind to, and for the past two years she has even taken part in the British Transplant Games.
And now the 13-year-old Elgin Academy pupil is preparing to help her mum and the rest of her family organise the second ever Braveheart Ball at Thainstone in Aberdeenshire on November 24.
The first ball, which took place in 2013, a year around the successful transplant, raised £42,000 for charity and Sadie’s mum hopes this year’s event will be even better.
The ball will raise cash for two cardiac charities close to the Merrin family’s hearts – the Rebecca’s Rainbow Heart Ebstien’s Anomaly Trust which supports a children’s cardiac nurse in the NHS Grampian region, and the Children’s Heart Unit Fund, which provides assistance to youngsters receiving treatment at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle where Sadie received her transplant.
Mrs Merrin said: “Our first Braveheart Ball was such a huge success, and we really hope we’ll be able to raise a similar amount of money for our second one this year as we celebrate five years since Sadie had her transplant.”
To find out more about the ball, donate or take part in a silent online auction, visit www.givergy.uk/braveheart