SCHOOLGIRL Natasha Howlett was joined by classmates this week as she celebrated the 10th anniversary of the liver transplant which saved her life.
Natasha, now 12, was very ill as a baby and needed a life-saving liver transplant when she was just two years old. But ever since the surgery she has been able to grow up like any other girl.
Mum Suzanne Howlett said: “It has been great to see such a dramatic change. When she was ill she was really ill but as soon as she had the transplant it was as if she changed almost overnight.
“She seemed to get better as soon as she left the operating theatre. She went in yellow and she came out white!
“Ever since then she has been really well. She still has to take lots of medication but we don’t mind one bit.”
Natasha celebrated the 10th anniversary of her liver transplant with teachers and classmates at St Hugh’s Academy, but she has no memory of her early struggles.
She said: “If I could ask other people to get a donor card, that would be great.
“I owe my life to the donor system, and it’s so easy to be a part of.”
Mrs Howlett added: “She doesn’t remember anything about it because she was so young. She was only one when we found out and two when she had the life-saving operation.
“She had to undergo chemotherapy for a year which was very hard but it has all been worth it.”
Every year the family raises money for the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation as a way of giving something back. They typically raise between £400 and £500 each year.
Natasha’s teacher, Miss Glover, said: “She is a fantastic pupil and a model student.”