An eight-year-old girl is taking on the Great North Run along with her family this weekend to raise funds for the hospital unit which saved her life.
And Megan McGarvey is able to take part for the first time this year as she has been given the all-clear and is finally off medication after years of surgery and treatment.
As reported in the Gazette in 2011, the Amble youngster had to undergo life-saving surgery at the children’s heart unit at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital to repair a hole in her heart when just a few days old.
Megan was born without a right lung and her heart is located on the right side of her chest, which complicates any surgery.
This, coupled with later diagnoses of heart abnormalities, meant that her case was very complex and difficult to predict.
Mum Rachel said: “It’s been a long haul, but this has been a really good year.
“It was so touch-and-go when she was a baby and because of the complicated problems, nobody could ever give me odds on what would happen.”
But this year, the consultants who saw Megan for her heart and respiratory problems have said they only need to see her every three years and she no longer takes any medication.
And Rachel admits that Megan taking part in the Great North Run was a ‘pipe-dream’ not so long ago.
“It’s nothing short of a miracle. It’s been absolutely amazing she’s made it this far.”