Scots teenager home for Christmas after second heart transplant

A teenager who had a second heart transplant a year ago is being allowed home to her family for Christmas.

Rachel Moffat. Picture: PA
Rachel Moffat. Picture: PA

Rachael Moffat, 15, was diagnosed with restrictive cardiomyopathy aged five and has spent more than a year in hospital recovering from complications following surgery at the end of 2015.

Her mother, Mary, of Cleland, North Lanarkshire, was thrilled at her daughter’s return home for the festive period.

She said: “Rachael is doing really well. She’s had to jump so many hurdles in life and she has never once given up.

“Her determination has played a big part in her recovery and her being home is the best Christmas present we could ever wish for.

“After Rachael’s first transplant, we didn’t think we would be so fortunate again. She’s had a long battle but we would have lost Rachael last year if it wasn’t for her donor.

“It really is the most wonderful gift and we are indebted to the care she has had at the Freeman Hospital and the Sick Kids in Glasgow which has made her return home for Christmas possible.”

Rachael had her first heart transplant at the age of seven at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle in 2008.

In November 2015, her heart stopped working effectively and she was readmitted to the hospital where a ventricular assist device was fitted to keep her alive while she waited for another transplant.

She had a second heart transplant two weeks after her admission but was later diagnosed with critical illness neuropathy, which meant she could not move apart from her right hand, resulting in intensive rehabilitation.

The teenager is now on dialysis four days a week after her heart problems damaged her kidneys and she is expected to require a kidney transplant in the future.

Rachael is hoping to compete in the 2017 Westfield Health British Transplant Games when the competition is held in North Lanarkshire next July.

With about 530 people in Scotland still waiting on a transplant, Rachael’s family want to encourage Scots to give the ultimate gift this Christmas by joining the NHS Organ Donor Register. “Organ donation truly is the greatest gift and we’ll never stop being grateful,” said Mrs Murray.