Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting WONEWS to 80360, or email
Gabrysia ready for first day at school
Just over three years ago, Gabrysia Filarowski’s life hung in the balance as she underwent a heart transplant.
Now the little girl is a picture of health and happiness as she prepares for her first day at school.
The important milestone is one her parents Angela and Andrew feared they might never see as their daughter grew weaker as she waited for a new heart.
Gabrysia was born with a rare condition, which meant she only had half a heart. She underwent her first open heart surgery at only seven days old, followed by more procedures when she was just three months old.
Her life hung in the balance three years ago as she waited for a heart transplant, but she was saved thanks to the dedication of staff at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle and the courage of the donor family.
She starts school on Monday at St Mary’s in Horsforth, the place where her mum began her teaching career.
Angela said: “As the staff there were all colleagues of mine at one point, they know the whole story of Gabrysia, have followed it and been very supportive.
“They even did a sponsored run to raise money for the children’s heart unit when Ania, Gabrysia’s sister, still attended the primary school.
“Gabrysia will be in a class with some good friends she made at pre-school, and has had some fun play dates during the holidays, where she has chatted with her friends about starting school – she seems pretty excited!
“Health-wise, Gabrysia is doing really well. Our latest clinic visit went really well.”
Gabrysia’s family have raised thousands of pounds for the Children’s Heart Unit Fund, which raises money for equipment, facilities, aftercare and research for the Children’s Heart Unit and the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Freeman Hospital. The brave little girl completed her own fundraising walk around Yeadon Tarn earlier this year.