Teen mum makes miracle recovery after body rejects heart transplant shortly after birth


Amy Ellis, 19 was put on life support after her body began to reject her heart transplant, but she was able to make an unexpected recovery and is now feeling hopeful for the future

A new teenage mum has made a miracle recovery after her body rejected a heart transplant shortly after giving birth to her child.

Amy Ellis, 19 was told to say her final goodbyes to her newborn daughter Ivy Rae after doctors believed she was soon due to pass away without any options left.

However, after four doses of a chemotherapy drug, her heart miraculously restarted and Amy was able to start recovering.

Amy, of Allerton, near Bradford, West Yorks., said: “I was so poorly my antibodies started attacking my heart which sent me into one off the rarest rejections going.

“The doctors didn’t know what to do, they had run out of options and everyone was brought to the hospital to say goodbye to me.

“My daughter came to say goodbye to me, everyone I care about was outside that hospital that day and the heart-breaking thing about it all is I didn’t even know I was knocking on death’s door.

“Everything was blank, the last thing I imagined was dying. I ended up having four doses off a chemo drug that saved my life my heart started again.”

Amy is now feeling much better and hoping to return home to her daughter and fiance Charlie.

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She needed a heart transplant due to suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle where it becomes stretched and thin.

This means her heart is unable to pump blood around the body effectively. Amy has been taking medication since she was diagnosed with the condition aged eight.

Last December, Amy discovered she was pregnant and was informed by doctors that she could no longer take her heart tablets due to the risk to her unborn baby’s health.

When she was 32 weeks into her pregnancy, her health took a turn and she was required to stay in hospital and needed a pacemaker.

Ivy Rae was born in June through a cesarean section due to Amy’s declining health.

Amy said: “Doctors came to me on the 17th and said if they didn’t bring Ivy Rae the next day I wouldn’t have made it, my body was too weak my heart was failing massively.”

Two days after giving birth, Amy was fitted with a pacemaker and was able to go home, but she was brought back to hospital six weeks later after falling ill from a blood clot.

After being rushed into surgery for a life-saving biventricular assist device, fitted to help pump blood around her body as her heart was failing, Amy was put on the urgent transplant list in September.

A donor match was found but after undergoing the transplant, Amy’s antibodies began attacking her new heart and she was on life support for 14 days.

It was unlikely at that time that she would survive, but she was able to somehow make a recovery.

She recalls waking up one day attached to wires and medical equipment and the medication she was on meant that she didn’t even recognise her fiance.

Since her unexpected recovery, she is slowly working towards feeling herself again, and is currently in hospital learning to walk again for the third time.

She feels hopeful that she will be able to get home to her family soon.

Amy has emphasised the importance of having an organ donor register, which all people in the UK are now automatically enrolled onto unless they opt out.

She added: “I really think people should be on the organ donor list as if it wasn’t for a kind soul being a donor I wouldn’t be here today and I wouldn’t have had the chance to watch my daughter grow.

“I think it’s really important to give people a chance at life so anybody who reads this I really hope you all become organ donors and save innocent lives.”