The youngster has suffered three heart attacks
A 12-year-old girl has undergone a second heart transplant after a new donor organ was found as she lay "just days from death" in hospital.
Sarah Barton, of Sunderland, had three cardiac arrests in April after her body rejected her first donor heart.
Her parents, Peter and Beverley, had an agonising three-week wait before a suitable new heart became available.
They hope Sarah, who is now recovering at Newcastle Freeman Hospital, will be able to return home soon.
The youngster was given her first donor heart in 2007 after she fell ill during a fun run and doctors diagnosed her with cardiomyopathy, a weakness in her heart muscle.
Mr Barton, 51, of East Herrington, said: "This time round was a lot more severe and we did not think the doctors could do anything, although they were trying desperately hard to save her.
"She had three cardiac arrests and we were living on a knife edge until the donor was found."
Mrs Barton said their daughter had been perfectly healthy before falling ill in 2007.
She said: "Sarah played netball and competed in charity runs.
"We are all shell shocked by what has happened to her since."
They added they knew their daughter was making a good recovery as she had been complaining of being bored at the hospital.
Doctor Richard Kirk, consultant paediatric cardiologist and transplant physician at the Freeman Hospital, has backed the couple's appeal for more people to join the donor register.
He said: "Sarah was a day or two from dying when she was fortunate to have a donor offer.
"We tried for three weeks and thankfully a very generous family, at a very tragic time for them, was able to give her their child's heart."