The family of a little girl who had her second heart transplant before Christmas is hoping she will be home within weeks.
Three-year-old Summer Carss has spent the last four months in the Children’s Heart Unit at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.
She was admitted in September, after it was found that the heart she received a year earlier was riddled with coronary artery disease, and she needed another transplant.
That operation took place at the beginning of December and while little Summer has endured strokes and kidney failure, she is now talking, eating and taking steps.
And mum Julie, and dad Paul, from Shilbottle, are overwhelmed with the progress she has made.
Summer was moved to the ward last Friday after being in intensive care since the operation.
Julie said: “She is doing really well and has even been outside in the playground.
“She is starting to stand and has taken a few steps and her right-side weakness is improving each day and is hardly noticeable now.
“She is an amazing girl, truly inspirational and a real heart warrior.
“I am so proud of my little girl and honoured to call her my daughter. It’s been tough and you would never believe the things we’ve seen and experienced.
“But we are getting there.”
Julie also paid tribute to the family of the donor whose heart went to Summer.
“I don’t know how we could ever thank the donor family enough for thinking of others when their whole world has fallen apart,” she said.
“They have given us the opportunity to share our life with the most amazing, brave and inspirational girl anyone will ever meet.
“We will make sure that Summer lives her life to the full, achieving and experiencing amazing things on behalf of her donors and their brave families.”
She also urged people to sign up to organ donation.
It is hoped that Summer will be home in the next few weeks, providing she recovers well.