A KINGSWINFORD schoolgirl has been making good progress and is looking forward to a dream stay at Disneyland Paris after undergoing a successful heart transplant.

Amelia Cadwallader, aged nine, underwent a successful transplant operation two months ago at The Freeman Hospital in Newcastle after waiting for five months at Birmingham Children’s Hospital for a donor to be found.

The youngster, who attends Fairhaven Primary School, had to stay in hospital due to the strong medication she was on as she waited anxiously for a transplant and when the call finally came she and her mum were flown by helicopter from Birmingham to Newcastle.

To help give her something to look forward to as she waited, friends and relatives rallied round to donate to a JustGiving page fundraiser which topped its £3k target, raising £3,105 to give Amelia and her family a dream holiday post-op.

Dudley News: Amelia Cadwallader before her transplantAmelia Cadwallader before her transplant (Image: Family handout)

Family friend Katie Skidmore from Kingswinford set up the page to raise funds so Amelia and her family could enjoy a stay in the Disney hotel at Disneyland Paris once on the road to recovery.

As luck would have it Amelia was back home in time to celebrate her ninth birthday and now, two months on from the op, she has been able to enjoy spending time in her garden and riding her bike.

She has to have regular check-ups and it will be a few more weeks before she can return to school but she’s making “really, really good” progress – her delighted mum Liz Cadwallader told the News.

She said: “She’s doing amazingly well. We’re so proud of her for being so brave and strong.

“We’re forever grateful for all the care and support that Amelia has received.”

The family are now looking forward to visiting Disneyland Paris next year – thanks to the funds raised.

Liz said: “It will be worth the wait. We’re going to make up for all the time she’s spent stuck in hospital. There’s a lot of fun times to be had.”

For now, Liz and husband Justin, Amelia and her younger sister Imogen, are enjoying spending time together at home.

Liz said: “It’s like a dream being at home.”

Amelia, who was born with congenital heart disease and underwent three open heart surgeries before going on the transplant list, currently has to isolate for a few more weeks and she will have to take anti-rejection medication for life, but the transplant has given her a new lease of life.

Liz said: “She’s not getting out of breath and her appetite is amazing. It’s the first time she can run around and do much more, it’s like a miracle.”

She said Amelia “just gets on with it” despite the tough circumstances she’s had to battle through, and she added: “Every day she just gets better and better.”

She hopes Amelia’s success story will serve as an inspiration to other parents of little ones with heart problems – “to give them hope”.

She’s also been doing her bit to raise awareness about organ donation and how people can help to save lives by making their wishes known.

To find out more visit organdonation.nhs.uk