31 August 2017

Boy, 9, thrilled with life-changing heart transplant just weeks after begging Theresa May to change donor laws

A SCHOOLBOY described his joy after being given a new lease of life thanks to a heart transplant.

Little Max Johnson, nine, underwent the life-saving surgery this month – and now he can’t wait to get back to school.

Max, nine, with his brother Harry. He suffers from a rare debilitating heart disease that means he needs a transplant

Max told the Mirror: “It is the best I have felt in my whole life.

“I am looking forward to seeing my friends, and going back to school. It just feels amazing.”

The Sun reported last month how Max had begged PM Theresa May to change donor laws saying: “Please change the law to save me.”

He made the emotional appeal after his mum called for a nationwide “opt out” clause to the register.

Max suffered dilated cardiomyopathy, meaning his life relied on complex medical machinery and meant a permanent stay in hospital.

He had asked for the change which would mean every eligible Brit would automatically be enrolled as a donor unless they make a point of removing themselves.

Mum of tragic donor hears son's heart beating in a loving dad's chest for the first time

And the youngster’s prayers were answered when a suitable heart donor was found.

Following surgery that left a six-inch scar on his chest, he’s now well on the way to recovery.

Max previously told The Mirror: “I would say to her, ‘Please do that straight away.’

“I would say, ‘Thank you so much, Prime Minister, because that would be a really nice thing to do – not just for me, but for other children.”

Such a move would massively increase the availability to docs of organs that could help save thousands of lives every year.

It is already in place in Wales and this week it was announced that the Scottish government would roll out the policy in response to a survey that found overwhelming public support.

Max’s story is said to have inspired more than 1,000 people to sign up to the NHS Organ Donation Register.

Mum Emma, 47,  said: “We watched him deteriorate physically and spiritually very quickly.

“It wasn’t long before they had to perform open heart surgery to fit the mechanical left ventricular assist device.

“It is known as a bridge to transplant. Max has been in hospital for over six months. For five of those, he’s been waiting for a heart – it just hasn’t come yet.”

Speaking about one of Max’s pals who received his new heart eight weeks ago dad Paul, 44, added: “It is an inspiration for us to see Connor doing so well and it is a real testament to the care of all the staff here, but it also shows what an incredibly resilient young man he is.

“They have done a phenomenal job. I think it shows the Government why they need to change the law on organ donation.”

Heartwarming moment lung transplant patient meets daughters of her organ donor

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