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Mum whose young son got a new heart in the nick of time starts school for first time

Mirror logo Mirror 5/09/2017 Jeremy Armstrong

© Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited A mum inspired by Mirror poster boy Max Johnson backs an opt-out organ donation scheme after her lad almost died waiting for a heart. 

Peter McKay was six months’ old when diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy – the same condition as Max.

He was three when his dad, also Peter, and mum Nikita Campbell were told his only chance of survival was to have a heart transplant at Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, hundreds of miles from their home in Tipperary, Ireland.

Peter, now four, then suffered several brushes with death before his body finally accepted the new heart – but went to the school for first time last week.

© Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited

Nikita, 23, said: “I back the opt out campaign. Peter got his heart just in time.

“But others are not so lucky and we need to make available as many donor organs as possible.”

The Mirror told last week how Max, nine, got a new heart after a nine-month wait and Nikita added: “He was an inspiration, campaigning to help others when ill himself.”

© Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Nikita spoke at the start of Organ Donation Week as figures were released showing 32 people, including 10 children, died waiting for a new heart last year.

The mum relied on a “home from home” provided by the Sick Children’s Trust ( ) at the Freeman while Peter was in hospital.

© Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Wales and Scotland have deemed all adults to have consented to donate organs unless they have opted out.

More than 11,000 people have backed the Mirror’s Change the Law for Life petition calling for an opt-out in England and Northern Ireland.

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