The ArgusThanks for the gift of life for Keira (From The Argus)

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Thanks for the gift of life for Keira

The Argus: Little Keira Royds-Jones from Hove is the picture of health Buy this photo Little Keira Royds-Jones from Hove is the picture of health

The mother of a little girl who received a life-saving liver transplant today thanked the brave parents who have made this their best Christmas ever.

Little Keira Royds-Jones is the picture of health as she and younger sister Megan look forward to opening their presents tomorrow (December 25).

However, just a year ago her future was looking uncertain as she was placed on the transplant list.

Medics told Keira’s mother Kirsty the then five-year-old would need a new liver before she reached the age of seven.

Keira was born with a rare genetic condi tion called Alagille Syndrome, which affects one in 70,000 people.

It left her with liver, heart and sight problems while she also had to take extra care because her bones would break easily.

Keira’s family knew right from the start she would eventually need a transplant but doctors had to wait until they thought her body was strong enough to cope.

Long wait

Kirsty, 36, from Hove, had been expecting to wait up to two years before a possible donor could be found, but this summer the call came.

Keira has gone from strength to strength since her operation in July and is now full of energy, running around, taking dance lessons and enjoying school.

As the family now look forward to a big Christmas celebration, Kirsty said her thoughts were with the donor family, who lost their three-year-old.

She said: “In their time of great grief they were able to reach out and give another child a gift of life.

“It is difficult to put into words how that feels, but we will always be truly grateful. We are going to have a great Christmas but we will always remember those who have lost so much.

“This is the time of year where people think of others and I would ask everyone to consider signing up to the organ donor register and possibly help save someone's life.”

Different girl

Before her transplant, Keira, now six, from Hove, had discoloured skin and was easily tired but her mother says she is now a different girl.

She said: “The whole experience of her transplant was such a whirlwind. One minute we were having an ordinary day and the next we were rushing up to London.

“It was probably one of the most extreme experiences I have ever been through.

“Once they got her pain relief under control, Keira started to do really well.

“She was in hospital for three weeks and then we had another week in an apartment in London before we were able to take her home.”

Doctors will continue to monitor Keira’s progress but she is continuing to do well.

Return to normal

Kirsty said: “Her colour is normal now and she no longer needs to be fed through a nasal and gastric tube so is eating and drinking normally.

“She says that food tastes a lot better now.

“It is very strange to look back on this time last year and it is only now that I realise just how much Keira has changed since her transplant. It has been a really emotional time.

“We know this is down to those anonymous people who allowed the transplant to happen.

“We were told it was a little child of three and we can never thank them enough.

“When Keira gets older we will be making sure she is well aware of everything.

“This has made all the difference in the world to us and shows just why it is important to sign up to the register.”

For details, visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300 1232323.

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Comments (3)

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2:53pm Mon 24 Dec 12

PETE OF QUEENS PARK says...

Great news and I hope she goes from strength to strength and has a long and happy life and I hope this good news brings some sort of comfort to the family who made the decission to help give someboby else the chance of life
Great news and I hope she goes from strength to strength and has a long and happy life and I hope this good news brings some sort of comfort to the family who made the decission to help give someboby else the chance of life PETE OF QUEENS PARK
  • Score: 0

6:37pm Mon 24 Dec 12

Hove Actually says...

A very merry christmas to Keira and EVERYONE involved with this, my deepest sympathy to the family who lost their child, amy you be rewarded for your kind act.
A very merry christmas to Keira and EVERYONE involved with this, my deepest sympathy to the family who lost their child, amy you be rewarded for your kind act. Hove Actually
  • Score: 0

12:35am Wed 26 Dec 12

Brightonian in Germany says...

I have to say that I feel for the parents that lost their child. My very greatest respects to & for them.

At the same time a really happy & positive report for This Xmas time. I am pleased for Keira & her Parents. I hope they all enjoyed their Xmas, especially Keira now being able taste her food better!

I agree very much with what Keira´s Mother has said about getting your name down on the Donors list. It is so important. Here in Germany one carries a cheque sized card around with them. Please do at least think about it.

A Happy Xmas to you all from Germany.
I have to say that I feel for the parents that lost their child. My very greatest respects to & for them. At the same time a really happy & positive report for This Xmas time. I am pleased for Keira & her Parents. I hope they all enjoyed their Xmas, especially Keira now being able taste her food better! I agree very much with what Keira´s Mother has said about getting your name down on the Donors list. It is so important. Here in Germany one carries a cheque sized card around with them. Please do at least think about it. A Happy Xmas to you all from Germany. Brightonian in Germany
  • Score: 0

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