Medics found Manjit Swayne had a hole in her heart when she was just six months old – now, more than four decades later, she is recovering from transplant after donor was found
Brave mum Manjit Swayne was given the “best present ever” on her 45th birthday… a new heart.
Medics found she had a hole in her heart when she was just six months old and nicknamed her ‘’the blue baby’’ after her lips and fingers discoloured. Now – more than four decades later – she has had life-saving surgery. The news arrived on Manjit’s 45th birthday despite medics claiming she had a slim chance of finding a match.
Manjit, an administrator for Specsavers, said: “When they told me I needed a transplant it hit me like a ton of bricks. Every time they talked about it I burst into tears. I still can’t believe I have a heart. It was the best birthday present ever.” Manjit was diagnosed as a baby with tricuspid atresia, a condition where the valve controlling blood flow from the right upper chamber of the heart to the right lower chamber does not form.
Doctors operated to close the hole in her heart when she was just 13. She then lived a “relatively normal life’’, meeting her husband Andy in 2006, with whom she has a son, Jack, nine. But in October 2015, Manjit suffered palpitations and was told it was heart failure and she needed a transplant.
After four years on a waiting list, Manjit, who had just a five per cent chance of a match, was called by Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital at 2am on 26 January – her birthday – to say a heart had been found. She said: “The first person on my mind was Jack. I woke him up to explain and he was the first to say happy birthday to me.”
Manjit is now back at home in High Wycombe, Bucks. She said: “To think this person has passed away, and to give their organs to people that need it, I’m so thankful. I’ll be looking after it. My hero donor has saved my life but it’s bittersweet as they had to die to do so. I can be a mum and a wife still, it’s given me my life back.” Speaking about Andy, Manjit added: “He’s been my absolute rock.”
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