Amble girl Megan McGarvey on the road to recovery after operation

Amble girl Megan McGarvey, who was born with one lung and her heart on the wrong side of her chest, is making a full recovery

Megan McGarvey (centre) with sisters Maya and Olivia
Megan McGarvey (centre) with sisters Maya and Olivia

Brave Megan McGarvey has had a tough start to life.

The youngster was born with only one lung, her heart in the wrong place and underwent her first operation at just three-months-old when medics found a huge hole in her heart.

But despite all that, Megan is now living like any other child her age.

“She’s just a normal nine-year-old little girl now,” said her mother Rachel.

“She loves life and we just make it as normal as possible.

“She has a little scar on her chest and people often ask what it’s from but that’s part of her and part of her life story.”

When Megan was just three-months-old she suddenly stopped breathing and began to turn blue at her home in Amble, Northumberland.

The Great North Air Ambulance Service flew a doctor and paramedic to the scene to work alongside the road ambulance.

The St Cuthbert First School pupils was given treatment before being flown to the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, where she underwent surgery to repair her heart.

Mrs McGarvey and her husband Kevin, 40, an IT consultant, were told their daughter had a 50/50 chance of survival following the operation.

After the successful five-hour procedure Megan was cured of an arrhythmia, an irregular heartbeat, and now is off all medication and continues to live a healthy life.

She now has to return to hospital just every three years for check-ups.

Earlier this year Megan, along with sisters, Maya, 11, and Olivia, four, took part in the Junior and Mini Great North Run, which demonstrated how far she has come since the surgery.

She said: “She possibly would have died if she didn’t have the surgery. She was a very poorly little girl. They had to get her to hospital very quickly.

“Without the air ambulance’s initial response I don’t even want to think about what might have happened to my girl. I will be forever grateful to the amazing service for getting her to the hospital in such quick time.”

Mrs McGarvey said: “It has been two years since her last operation and my daughter is a happy, healthy girl who is full of life and every day I am so grateful to the people who saved her.

“Sometimes words are inadequate in expressing my thanks to the wonderful people at GNAAS. I would encourage everyone to support this fantastic charity.”

Mandy Drake, head of fundraising at GNAAS, said: “We are all absolutely delighted to hear of Megan’s remarkable recovery and wish her all the best in the future.”


David Whetstone
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