New hospital book to help Leeds children undergoing transplants

Published: The book has been welcomed by Emma McDonald, pictured with sons Louie and Freddie.
Published: The book has been welcomed by Emma McDonald, pictured with sons Louie and Freddie.
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Children in Leeds awaiting a vital liver transplant will now be given a book to help them understand what is involved in the procedure.

The Joe’s Liver Transplant Story book is based on patients like Emma McDonald’s son Freddie, from Wakefield, who underwent a liver transplant two years ago.

Published by the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation charity, it is designed to be a resource for youngsters like Freddie, now five, who are facing the procedure, or their siblings.

Freddie’s mum, Emma, from Ossett, has praised the book launch, which was published following input from paediatric transplant centres, including Leeds Children’s Hospital.

It will now be available to all children awaiting a liver transplant.

“I have read the book with both my boys and they enjoyed it,” Ms McDonald said.

“Because Freddie was so young when he had his surgery, he doesn’t realise that this is what happened to him. But he will have questions in the future and this book will be a really helpful way of explaining it all to him.”

She said the book could also help siblings understand what is involved in the transplant procedure.

“His older brother Louie, however, was five at the time of Freddie’s transplant and remembers it very clearly,” Ms McDonald said.

“He identified with the book straight away as he knew this was what had happened to our family.”

The book’s introduction comes as the Yorkshire Evening Post is highlighting the vital work carried out in the region’s hospitals, as part of our We Love Our NHS campaign.

Alison Taylor, chief executive of the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation Charity, said: “Whilst there are many children’s books about going into hospital, we were conscious that there was nothing specific about transplant and wanted to produce something which would explain the process using language and pictures a young child can understand.”