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Heart swap tot Charleigh dies suddenly

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The heart swap toddler who became the darling of Milton Keynes died tragically and unexpectedly on Sunday.

Three-year-old Charleigh Thomson played hide and seek with her two cousins, covered her gran in kisses, ate her favourite chocolate mousse for tea and then suddenly collapsed.

Her mum Christina called paramedics to her Fishermead home but less than two hours later the tot was pronounced dead.

“We don’t know what happened,” wept her gran Yvonne Forbes, “We can only assume our precious girl used up all of her miracles.”

Little Charleigh was born with three serious heart defects and spent the first weeks of her life in Milton Keynes Hospital Neonatal Unit.

She became a regular at Great Ormond Street, where she spent most of her second year when her damaged heart started failing.

Just before Christmas 2012 she was given days to live after corrective surgery failed.

As family gathered round to say goodbye doctors came up with a last-minute reprieve – in the form of a £100,000 artificial Berlin heart – an external machine that pumped the blood around her tiny body.

For an incredible 255 days smiling Charleigh stayed connected to the machine until finally a donor heart was found.

Again the tot amazed doctors by surviving a ten-hour transplant operation.

Just weeks later she was walking around, chattering and laughing,

Snd despite setbacks last year with pneumonia and rejection scares, Charleigh always bounced back to health with her usual grin.

A post mortem will now held to investigate what went wrong and to determine the cause of death.

 

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