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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 November 2007, 19:48 GMT
Heart swap baby reaches milestone
Andrew McAskie approaching his first birthday
Andrew is approaching his first birthday
A baby from Newcastle has become one of the youngest ever in the UK to survive a heart transplant.

Andrew McAskie was just five weeks old when he underwent the life-saving operation earlier this year at the city's Freeman Hospital.

Now as Andrew nears his first birthday, parents Sarah and John have praised the donor family and hospital staff.

Doctors at the Freeman said Andrew was the youngest baby they had ever operated on.

Mrs McAskie said: "What he has been through is absolutely amazing - it makes you realise how fragile life is.

"When I look at him and think there is someone else's heart in there keeping him going, it is mind blowing.

Andrew McAskie after the heart transplant
Andrew had a transplant a few weeks after birth

"We think about the donor family on a daily basis and pray for them to have some comfort."

Andrew was born on 30 December last year, weighing 8lb 1oz after doctors performed an emergency caesarean.

At first he seemed healthy, but hours later began to suffer skin discolouration and an ultrasound scan showed his heart was not pumping properly.

He was kept alive on a heart machine for two weeks until a one-year-old's heart became available in Germany.

Consultant paediatric cardiologist Richard Kirk said: "In the UK there has only been one or two younger patients than Andrew.

"Certainly Andrew is the youngest we have done here at the Freeman. He has done extremely well and we are very pleased with him."



VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Andrew McAskie now, and a year ago



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