Boy, 9, with three hearts says he can’t wait for Christmas after second transplant
Kori at the freeman hospital Newcastle after his second heart transplant
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At just nine years old, Kori Parkin-Stovell has had three hearts and as he looks forward to Christmas he is thankful that his second transplant has been a success.
Kori spent last Christmas in intensive care after his first transplant heart failed and told the Mirror yesterday: “I can’t wait for Christmas after last year.
“I love cooking and 100 per cent there are going to be sprouts. My mum does Christmas dinner and nobody gets to help, ever. But she says I can cook with her this year. My big sister is very jealous.”
Mum Kerrylee, 41, said: “We know it is very, very rare to get a second heart transplant and we are so grateful.”
Kori was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, and got his first transplant in March, 2018.
Kori in hospital with his big sister Ebony
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He went to school for the very first time in September, 2019.
But within weeks, Kori went down with norovirus, which made him so ill his anti-rejection drugs stopped working, which caused his heart to fail.
He was rushed to Birmingham Children’s Hospital in November, 2019.
Kerrylee and Kori’s stepdad John Travers, 43, feared the worse. Kerrylee said: “We were told he would die.”
Kori and sister Ebony on Christmas Day last year
Days before Christmas, Kori, of Ripley, Derbys, was moved to the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle to await a second transplant.
Kerrylee, John and Kori’s sisters Ebony, 17, and Ostarra, three, stayed with him thanks to The Sick Children’s Trust, which provided a flat on site.
Kori, who got his second new heart early this year, is the face of the Trust’s Christmas campaign.
Kori returns to school after his first heart transplant
Kerrylee said: “There are not enough words to personally express my absolute gratitude, love, respect and thanks for the help and support.
“The staff at the Freeman and the Trust are just fantastic, like family members. We are so grateful to them all for helping to save his life.”
She remains in touch with the family of Kori’s first donor, a 14-year-old boy called Elliot. And she has written a letter to thank the family of the second heart donor.
Kori with his mum Kerrylee
Kerrylee met Mirror campaigner Max Johnson, 12, at the Freeman. Max, a heart transplant patient who got a donor organ from Keira Ball, nine, helped us fight for England’s new “opt out” organ donor system.
Kerrylee said: “Max and Keira’s Law is just incredible. It will save so many lives.”
Angie Scales, of NHS Blood and Transplant, said around 20 children a year received a heart transplant, but it was “very rare” for a child to have a second.
She said: “We know parents who agree to donate their child’s organs gain great comfort and pride from knowing their child has saved the lives of other people.
“There are young patients relying on a child to save their life.”
Jane Featherstone, of The Sick Children’s Trust, said a £30 donation could help a family stay with a sick child. She said: “You can make a difference.”
To donate go to sickchildrenstrust.org/christmas. For information on organ donation go to organdonation.nhs.uk.