Tyler Wood, who is just ten years old, was told last August he only had a year to live after being diagnosed with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy, a disorder where damaged heart muscle is gradually replaced by scar tissue and fat.
After 15 weeks of waiting at Bristol Children’s Hospital for a suitable donor, Tyler received the call to say that a heart was available and he received the transplant at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital before returning home just over two weeks later.
Tyler said, “I feel amazingly good now I have my new heart and I’m full of energy!”
“The best thing about it is that it means I am still here to be able to love my family.”
“In the future I’m looking forward to doing lots of swimming and taking part in the transplant games.”
Tyler’s mother, Ali Wood said, “We have a completely different boy now, he is full of energy and has a lot more confidence. He literally bounces around the house. He now wants to run around with his friends and join in games. Before the transplant he was happier just watching.”
His father Dave Wood said, “He has had an amazing recovery and we are eternally grateful to the donor family who gave him another chance at life. Words cannot describe what it is like to see him recovering and doing things he couldn’t before. It’s like having a new child and it brings the family sheer happiness.”
Tyler is now on the mend and living an active lifestyle he could only dream about before his operation.
He is completing a ten minute trampoline bounce on Sunday 14th July, to raise money to fund a trip to Sheffield in August for the Transplant Games.
His family hope to raise £500 from the trampoline bounce and anyone wishing to sponsor him can do so by visiting www.virginmoneygiving.com/aliwood.
Tyler will then take part in the Transplant Games as part of Great Ormond Street’s ‘Heart and Lungs’ team. They will compete against other children’s hospitals.
As a participating family, the Wood family is asked to try and raise funds to help with the costs of the Games.
Tyler’s dad, Dave said, “The Transplant Games are a wonderful opportunity for Tyler to meet other children who have had new hearts and make lifelong friendships with others who know and understand how his life has now changed forever.
“He has to take medication for the rest of his life and attends regular hospital outpatient visits. He is very aware of how lucky he is to have his new chance at life and we will make sure he makes the most of every opportunity
“Life will always have its ups and downs for him. Meeting others in the same position will provide him with knowledge and connections that as parents we cannot provide.
“Attending the Games will also enable us to meet other parents of transplant children, something I am very much looking forward to!”
The GOSH Heart and Lungs Charity also contributes towards accommodation costs, games entrance fees, gala event tickets and entertainment for the children while in Sheffield over the three days.