Thank God for the Freeman says heart-op girl’s mum

Summer Carss, accompanied by Peppa Pig, is waiting for another new heart.
Summer Carss, accompanied by Peppa Pig, is waiting for another new heart.

A family has praised the staff at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital for their dedication and support.

Three-year-old Summer Carss is currently recovering from her second heart transplant at the hospital’s Children’s Heart Unit.

And while her parents, Paul and Julie, from Shilbottle, have spent an agonising three months by her side, they have given their heartfelt praise and thanks to the staff, from surgeons down to cleaners.

Summer had her transplant three weeks ago and was put on a machine to rest the organ and help it to recover from the transplant.

But last week she was taken off the machine.

However, the little girl was still very poorly and there was a concern that she might need to go back on the machine.

So surgeons stayed by her side and even closed a theatre for 24 hours to make sure she received the best care.

Julie said: “The surgeons feared she needed to go back on the machine and two of them stood over her in intensive care for hours, one of them even offered to stay there overnight.

“They then did hourly shifts standing over Summer in a closed theatre until they were sure she didn’t need the machine anymore.

“They transferred her to the pediatric intensive care unit and she is doing really well. Her heart is improving each day.

“There are not many hospitals and surgeons that would do this kind of thing.

“This is why the Freeman’s so special.

“When Summer was brought back off the machine all the staff were as happy as us and the atmosphere was amazing.

“We feel like part of the Freeman family after being here so long.

“We call everyone by their first names. Nearly everyone in the hospital knows Summer and us, from porters, catering staff to cleaners. It’s such a friendly place. Thank God for the Freeman.”

Summer will have to stay in isolation for three months after the transplant.