Ripley boy home for Christmas after two heart transplants

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Image source, The Sick Children's Trust
Image caption,
Kerrylee Stovell said the biggest thing for her son Kori is being well and at home for Christmas

A nine-year-old boy says he is "excited" to be spending Christmas at home this year after surviving his second heart transplant.

Kori Parkin-Stovell was born with a rare heart condition where the left side had not developed properly.

He had multiple operations before receiving a heart in 2018, but the following year it began to fail.

Kori had a second transplant in January and is now recovering at home and looking forward to Christmas.

Kori, from Ripley, Derbyshire, was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which meant the left side of his heart was under-developed.

He received a heart transplant in March 2018 but when it began to fail in November 2019, his mother Kerrylee Stovell was warned by medics at Birmingham Children's Hospital he was likely to die.

"Everything happened really quickly," Ms Stovell said.

"They said that he had 12 hours to live, he had the last rites read and they allowed me to get into bed with him.

"They moved all the machinery over because they thought that he would pass away in my arms that night."

Image source, Sick Children's Trust
Image caption,
Kori and his family have been in isolation since he left hospital to protect him from coronavirus

Kori's condition stabilised and a month later he was transferred to Newcastle's Freeman Hospital.

He was put into a coma until a new heart became available, meaning he missed most of last Christmas.

Kori said: "All I can remember is that Santa came and left a massive sack outside my door full of toys just for me.

"There was a blow-up elf on one of my shelves and I watched a lot of Megamind."

Festive dream

He had a second heart transplant in January but the family's hopes of returning to normal once he was discharged in April were dashed by the coronavirus pandemic.

They have been isolating at home ever since to keep Kori safe.

Ms Stovell, 41, said: "All the things I'd promised him and all the things that kept him going he wasn't allowed to do.

"He was feeling really, really depressed for a little while.

"He just wants Christmas. The biggest thing for him is being home for Christmas and being well for Christmas because he missed it."

Ms Stovell has praised the support her family received from The Sick Children's Trust while Kori was in hospital last Christmas.

They were given a room at the charity's Scott House where the whole family could be together while Kori was being treated.

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