Hannah was born with a defective heart and has had three heart operations. She went on the waiting list for a heart transplant in July 2000.
Hannah and her mother Ros, spent three days before Christmas 2000 in a children’s hospice after she developed a serious cough. Mrs Pudsey and her husband David, a coal merchant in East Yorkshire, were told by doctors that a donor organ was needed to save her life.
She said: “Hannah has never had a normal life. We have been back and forward to hospital since she was a baby. Her heart has slowly deteriorated. She is stable, but it’s the drugs that keep her heart ticking over. There was nothing she wanted for her 13th birthday. A lot of children want roller blades and a bike, but because of her condition she wanted none of these things. “
Mrs Pudsey who works part-time helping the deaf and hard of hearing, took Hannah away for a week to rest before her 13th birthday which was on 14th January 2001. Hannah attended school three hours a day, but came home exhausted and enforced absences caused by her medical condition caused her to drop back a year.
Hannah also appeared on GMTV with her mother and 17-year-old brother Ben to urge viewers to carry a organ donor card. They also met members of the pop group Westlife who are also promoting the Organ Donation Campaign.
Hannah said: “Not just for me, but for any children who are waiting for an organ, get a donor card, tell your family and hopefully make somebody’s life better.”
Hannah had three false alarm calls for transplant, but the donor heart on each occasion was not suitable. Then on the 10th February 2001, just a few weeks after her 13th Birthday a suitable donor was found.
This is Steven Tibbey my heart donor
7 days post heart transplant standing by my bed
“As you might imagine, my donor and his family have been in my thoughts daily.
Although I am eternally appreciative of my new lease of life, my gratitude has been overshadowed by my heartfelt sorrow for his family and their loss.
I have accepted my gift with great responsibility and with the hope that I can make a positive difference in someone else’s life like my donor has done for me.”
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