Three years ago, she was ‘fading away’.
Now Gabrysia Filarowski is a full-of-life four-year-old.
And today she will say thanks to the doctors who performed her heart transplant and saved her life.
The youngster from Horsforth, Leeds, will take part in her own fundraising event by walking around Yeadon Tarn.
Her mum Angela said: “We can hardly believe we have been lucky enough to have her in our life for these three extra-special years.”
Gabrysia was diagnosed with a rare heart defect before she was born and had two bouts of open heart surgery within her first few months of life.
However, her heart function was still “significantly impaired” and her parents were told that without a transplant, she would die within a year.
She underwent specialist treatment to cut her antibody level and on July 9, 2009, got the call they had been waiting for.
Gabrysia went into theatre at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, the northern centre for heart transplants, early the next day.
Since then she has done well, though she has had complications due to her suppressed immune system.
Her mum said: “We like to mark her heart transplant anniversary by raising money for charity. The last two years we have held a ball and in total we have raised just over £8,000 – which we are delighted with.
“This year we decided to have a change and as Gabrysia is a bit older now we thought she could do something herself to raise money and include some of her little friends.”
Today’s walk around Yeadon Tarn will raise cash for the Children’s Heart Unit Fund at the Freeman Hospital.
Angela added that Gabrysia was excited: “We have told her that people are sponsoring her which means they will give us money and that the money will be given to hospital to help children like her have a better time whilst they are in hospital.
“She thinks this is a good idea as it may mean the playroom gets some new toys and she loves playing with the toys in the playroom.”
* Contribute via: www.justgiving.com/Angela-Filarowski or donate by texting KPYL91 followed by the amount to 70070.