Transplant-refusal girl Hannah Jones backs donors

Hannah Jones, 18, is now encouraging more people to join the donor register

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A girl who refused to have a heart transplant at the age of 13 has urged more people to join the donor register.

Hannah Jones, of Marden, near Hereford, refused the life-saving surgery in 2007 for a hole in her heart that was weakened by medication for leukaemia she had taken from the age of five.

She initially refused as it meant more operations and taking drugs for life and she preferred to die with dignity.

Now 18, she said she was glad she changed her mind.

She said life now was "just amazing".

Hannah changed her mind in 2009 when she was close to death and underwent surgery in July that year.

However, she had various health complications after the transplant, including chest infections that twice turned into pneumonia and she also caught swine flu.

'Great life ahead'

She said the organ donation system was a "great cause".

"I wouldn't be here if someone else hadn't died and I'm so grateful for that gift," she said.

Hannah Jones (photo by Caters News Agency) Hannah Jones initially refused a heart transplant at the age of 13

She said she was now aiming to go to university and train to be a teacher.

"I'm glad I changed my mind at the time I did, otherwise I wouldn't be here today," she said.

"I wouldn't be enjoying what I have now."

Asked what she would tell her 13-year-old self, Hannah said: "You've got a great life ahead of you but just do what you think is right for you."

Her mother Kirsty Jones said she was "very proud" of her daughter.

"I go to her drama productions and watch quietly from the back," she said.

"I do cry because it's very, very special every time I see her out, enjoying her life, which she does."

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