Monday, February 11, 2008

Girl dies hours before heart transplant

This article further highlights the desperate need for organ donation and how important it is for us to continue to promote organ donation awareness.

From the Edmonton Sun in Canada:
TORONTO -- The small eastern Ontario town of Prescott is heartbroken by the death of a little girl just moments before she was to have a life-saving heart transplant operation.

Hannah Walker, 11, died Saturday at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children just hours after learning the donor heart that her parents had been praying for had been found.

Her mother and father were overjoyed by the news and a Valentine's dance had been planned for Feb. 16 to raise money to help offset expenses related to Hannah's care. But Hannah's cousin, Susan Prettejohn, said "she had some complications and everything just shut down while we were prepping her for surgery."

The spirited sixth grader fell ill last month, and her ordeal sparked an outpouring of community support.

As the news of her death spread through the community, residents whose hopes had been raised so high just hours earlier were griefstricken.

"It was so close. People here are devastated," said Prescott Mayor Suzanne Dodge.

If there was anything that might help dull the pain of Hannah's loss, it might be the knowledge that the heart that had been meant for Hannah was used to save the life of another child.

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