A critically ill Herefordshire teenager who won the right to die changed her mind and is now “feeling brilliant” after a heart transplant.
Hannah Jones’ father Andrew revealed that the 14-year-old leaukaemia and cardiomyopathy patient changed her mind because she was “enjoying her life” and wanted more of it.
The teenager, from Marden, won the right to die peacefully at home after years of illness instead of having the life-saving transplant doctors wanted to give her in January.
But when her kidneys suddenly stopped working last month, Hannah did a U-turn and signed a consent form.
She is now recovering well from surgery at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Father-of-four Mr Jones, a 44-year-old auditor, said: “I’m obviously really happy with her decision, but me and her mother didn’t put any pressure on her.
“Hannah’s change of mind came because she has enjoyed her life so much over the past year that she wanted more of it.
“I’m over the moon that the transplant was a success but it was a major operation and she has someone else’s heart inside her, so she’s just trying to get used to that.”
The father said he had been by Hannah’s bedside with wife Kirsty, a 43-year-old former nurse, and their other children Oliver, 12, Lucy, 11, and Phoebe, five, since the operation three weeks ago.
Transplant surgeons took six and a half hours to implant the new heart and Hannah was left in intensive care for two weeks following the operation.
But the new heart could add a further 25 years to Hannah’s life.
When the teenager was struck with kidney failure, she was unable to receive dialysis as her heart was only beating on one side and too weak to cope with treatment, meaning the heart transplant was her only hope and she was placed on the transplant list.
Hannah said: “I’m tired but I feel brilliant compared to before.
“It seems really weird because I can feel the heart beating in my chest much stronger than before - and I know it’s different.
“I can also feel my pulse better and I can feel the blood being pumped up through my body into my neck.
“I’m still quite nervous but I’m really glad it’s all over.
“The thing I am most looking forward to is getting out of hospital and going home to be with my family. I also want to see my cat Tails McFluff because I’ve really missed him.
“My big dream is to go on holiday next summer and swim in the sea with my little sister Phoebe.”
Hannah underwent six operations in the past two years, which only kept her heart working at 10 per cent capacity, and the youngster was adamant that she could not face more surgery despite only having six months to live.
Hannah’s mother Mrs Jones said: “The last thing she said to me before the anaesthetic kicked in was ‘I love you mum’.
“When she woke up ten days later she couldn’t talk to start off with, but the first things she managed to say out loud was ‘drink’.
“The doctors have said her recovery is going brilliantly so far which is fantastic and it’s just a waiting game really.
“It will be fabulous to have all the family reunited back at home where we belong, I’m really looking forward to that.”