In October 2011, Phoebe suffered acute liver failure two weeks before her second birthday. Last weekend we invited Phoebe, now aged 9, her mum Lesley-Anne and best friend Sophie to Carlisle Racecourse for a fun-filled day out at the Afternoon Jumps, courtesy of our fantastic charity partner, The Jockey Club. Our deserving guests were able to watch the races from the comfort of a VIP box with food, refreshments and the opportunity to present prizes!
Phoebe’s mum Lesley-Anne left us some fabulous feedback on their day at Carlisle:
‘We wanted to pass on a huge thank you to the Barrie Wells Trust for a fabulous day with lovely friendly, families. Phoebe and Sophie had great fun and it was a perfect end to the half term holidays. Thank you very much for having us.’
One month before Phoebe’s second birthday, Lesley-Anne noticed that Phoebe’s eyes had started turning yellow. She was rushed to the GP for an emergency appointment and then directed to the local hospital. Over the course of the next two weeks Phoebe underwent an abundance of tests, was transferred between Great North Children’s Hospital, Leeds General Infirmary and then placed on the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU). It was here on the 29th October that Phoebe suffered acute liver failure, also known as fulminant hepatic failure and was listed on the Super Urgent Transplant list.
Living with a Liver Transplant
The next twenty-four hours were heart-breaking for mum, Lesley-Anne, as Phoebe’s consultants updated her with information on liver disease, transplant, lists and donors. However, on 30th October the family were given the fantastic news that Phoebe had been offered a new liver.
Transplant surgery began on 31st October and the following weeks and months were spent adapting to post transplant life.
Phoebe takes immunosuppressants and steroids every day, she is very accepting of her condition and the responsibilities she faces as a liver transplant recipient.
‘She is a happy, positive, confident and independent little girl, who I am very proud of. I want Phoebe to be the person she is destined to be despite her medical restrictions. I encourage her to experience everything she can and be whoever she wants to be. We are extremely grateful to Phoebe’s Donor Family, without their gift and the skill and care of her medical team, Phoebe would not have survived.’
Going for Gold at the Transplant Games 2019!
Phoebe is an inspiration to many and is the youngest member of the Great British Transplant Team with 17 running medals to her name so far. She has recently been chosen to swim for Team GB at the World Transplant Games 2019! She is a keen promoter for organ donation and transplant, made an appeal film for the Transplant Sport and Children in Need in 2015 and recently finished filming Operation Ouch for CBBC as their first transplant recipient.
The Barrie Wells Trust strive to provide memorable experiences for seriously ill children and their families through our Box4Kids initiative. We aim to help encourage and inspire young people by working with box holders and venues. So if you know anyone who has an executive box then please get in touch here and you too could help children like Phoebe enjoy a Box4Kids VIP experience.