Sometimes in life, we fight so much that we just let go and give up. This is what happened to many people with serious health issues and people who just had enough of going under the knife. But, what happens after we give up and surrender? For this girl, the light came and her life changed completely. Hanna is no ordinary schoolgirl. She was diagnosed with cancer and heart disease at a young age, and when she was 13, she went to court to claim her right to die after she had refused a heart transplant. May people would die for a heart transplant, but she just had enough of everything. Hanna is 22 now, and surprisingly, she just graduated with a 2:2 degree in English and Drama from Aberystwyth University. Does she regret her past decisions? Not a bit.
Nine years ago, she made headlines when she fended off a legal bid by medics that were trying to force her to have treatment for her heart failure. She had the support of her parents as she didn’t want to spend any more time at a hospital. Her local hospital began High Court proceedings to try and remove her from her parents’ custody. The hospital wanted for the heart transplant to happen. But, after Hannah pleaded her case to a child protection office, Hereford Hospital decided to back down. Unfortunately for Hannah, her condition began to deteriorate. At the age of 14, she changed her mind and underwent a six-and-a-half-hour transplant at Great Ormond Street Hospital. The donor of the heart was a 40-year-old man who had died in a motorcyle accident in Scotland.
Hannah currently lives with her mum and stepdad. She explains for the media:
“At the time it was right for me to do it. I was exhausted by the drugs and the pressure I was under and I don’t regret my decision. It was right for me to challenge the doctors at the time.
She had a change of heart when she thought about all the things she wanted to do with her life. “If I had chosen to have a transplant earlier then I might not be in the position I am in now. I regret nothing about the decisions I made.”
Two years after the operation, Hannah was sent to intensive care for two weeks after contracting Swine Flu. She says her condition has meant that she has to be extra careful in life, especially in terms of what she consumes:
“I still take lots of pills every day and have to look after my heart but I have a future.”
Hannah is now set to go on and further her studies in Bath, UK, where she is aiming to become a teacher. Other than that, she is also spearheading a campaign to save the lifeboat of her hometown, New Quay. Her mum, Kirsty, is a proud mom.
She explains: “We just hope the family of the donor knows how much Hannah has benefitted. This is something huge that was done for us.”
“Now Hannah can teach and inspire little children and show others that things are possible post-transplant.”