Teen gets new heart after change of mind

A teenager with a terminal heart condition who changed her mind after winning a legal battle to refuse a transplant has now been given a new heart.

Hannah Jones,14, was taken to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London last night, just a week after she placed herself back on a waiting list for a new heart.

Last year, Hannah, after spending much of her young life in hospital, decided she didn’t want a heart transplant because she was told the procedure would be risky and her chance of survival slim.

She said she wanted to spend her remaining days at home, telling her family and the medical staff treating her “I know what’s best for me”.

But eight months on Hannah had a change of heart after doctors reassessed her and decided there was now a good chance of making a full recovery as she has grown stronger.

According to press reports Hannah’s parents, Kirsty and Andrew Jones, were at her bedside last night.

Mr and Mrs Jones, revealed that their daughter was still “very, very poorly” at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital.

But Mrs Jones said: “Hannah was given the new heart and the general consensus is that all is well with it.

“She is stable, but is still in intensive care. We all hope that the new heart is not rejected, and that Hannah goes on to make a full, and healthy, recovery.”

A family friend said: “She’s a brave kid and everyone is praying she makes a full recovery. But it’s a major operation and it will be a few days before she is out of the woods.”

Last year Hannah’s case hit the headlines when she refused life saving treatment despite a legal bid by her local healthcare trust.

Experts explained that had Hannah been an adult her refusal would not have been questioned. But because she is a minor the law enabled the trust to challenge her decision because doctors believed treatment was in her best interest.

Rosemary Bennett of The Times newspaper defended the hospital’s actions at the time, asking “who can blame a doctor for stopping to question why a 13-year-old child should want to stop fighting for life?”.

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