A toddler from Harrogate who has been fighting a devastating illness has been given a new chance at life after undergoing major transplant surgery.
Mia Mason, aged 2½, was born with a rare kidney disorder and given until Christmas to live.
Now, 34 days after going on the transplant list, she has been given new hope after undergoing major six-hour surgery with a donor kidney.
“It is a Christmas miracle,” said her grandmother Carol Hare. “It’s the greatest gift – this has saved her life, absolutely. All our prayers have been answered.”
Mia’s parents, Sammi Ramsey and Michael Mason, knew soon after she was born that something was wrong with her health.
After countless tests she was diagnosed with an inherited disorder called congenital nephrotic syndrome, which means her body leaks protein and can become swollen.
Initially, her family were told she might not survive past six months, and she has been in and out of Leeds Children’s Hospital, where she has dialysis every other day.
She was officially put on the transplant list just last month, and her family have been waiting anxiously for the call which came through on Monday lunchtime.
“We are still whirring from it all,” said Miss Hare. “Sammi was already at the hospital when they heard the news, as Mia was having dialysis.
“The doctor said it was the first time she was able to tell the family face to face.”
Mia underwent a series of tests and was wheeled down to surgery to surgery at 3am on Tuesday.
Doctors are still waiting to see how she will recover but say the surgery was a success. She is the smallest person to have had a transplant at the hospital.
“We are still in shock,” said Miss Hare, of Knox Avenue, adding that Mia was due to leave intensive care yesterday (Wednesday), as she was recovering well.
“She was demanding crisps in intensive care!” she said. “We bought her every flavour in the vending machine.
“There’s still a chance of rejection. It’s still an anxious time for us. But the test results are phenomenal. Every day is looking good at the moment.”
The family have backed the Advertiser’s campaign through this year, calling for more people to sign up to the organ donor register.
And now, as Mia is given new hope by a donor, her family say this message is more important than ever.
“We went through every emotion you could possibly think of - happiness, shock, apprehension, and sadness as well, for what the donor has had to give up,” said Miss Hare.
“Foremost is our minds is the sacrifice they have made. It was an adult, that’s all we know.
“Words aren’t enough to say what we feel about what that person has done. They have saved Mia’s life.”
The family are also raising money for the unit which has cared for Mia, and their fundraising has been backed by dozens of Harrogate businesses.
A coffee morning is to be held from 11am to 3pm on December 13 at the Manhattan Club and raffle prizes have been donated from across the district.
Entry is £4 and includes coffee and cake. There will be stalls, face painting, and raffles with dozens of prizes.
“It’s just amazing,” said Miss Hare. “It’s wonderful how nice people have been.
“People have really taken Mia to heart. They just want to help and to do something to contribute.
“She’s a very special little girl.”
Hundreds of people are now following Mia’s progress online.
Search Mia Mason Kidney Donation Awareness on Facebook for more.
Among those who have pledged to help are Hotel du Vin, Little Reds Homemade Gifts, Farrah’s of Harrogate, Ash Hair, The Academy, Nidd Hall, Sunkist Tanning, Taylors, B&Q, the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, Dougies Fish & Chips, Screwfix, Mirror Finish car valeting, Coco Tan and Beauty, Oliver’s Pantry of Ripon, Gymaphobics, Wills and Parker hair and beauty, Gamburu, Park Lane Jewellery, Little Rascals, Nu U Beauty, West Yorkshire Playhouse, I Sweep Chimneys, Layla’s Polished to Perfection, Rachel Babyknitz, Lesley & Cheryl’s jewellery, the Manhattan Club, Brookes, and members of the public who have offered to back cakes and man a stall on the day. To donate, email firstname.lastname@example.org.