A moment of reflection with the teddy bear given by the team who transported Eloise on her transplant day
Eloise with her treasured box of wooden hearts, one received as a special gift each heart birthday
I felt really honoured to be invited to photograph Eloise today, on her 7th Heart Birthday. Happy Heart Birthday Eloise!! Doesn't she look fantastic!! Seven years ago, Eloise was critically ill and needing a new heart urgently. She waited just four days before receiving a transplant at the Freeman hospital in Newcastle and became the worlds oldest (at the time ) ABO mismatch heart transplant recipient. Eloise was proud to show met he teddy bear that came with her heart as it was given to her by the ambulance crew that brought it to her at the time of her transplant.
She also showed me her special box of painted wooden hearts, one given to her on each heart birthday. Of course, she was especially happy to show me the wonderful hedgehog cake she had chosen for this year's birthday celebration.
It was a really happy and colourful shoot. It was a bit of a whistle stop visit though as the tube strike meant I had to travel the long way round and make several connections rather than dare to try and cross London. This wasn't helped by me suddenly thinking I needed to be on the train ahead of the one I had been planning to return on. It was no bad thing though as Eloise had taken the morning off school for her photo shoot and had a wonderful tray of heart decorated cakes ready to treat her class with. She wasn't the only one treated. I was given a lovely card and a beautiful photo frame which I think will look great with one of these special birthday pictures in as a souvenier of the Gifts of Life project and today's special shoot. I will always treasure it Eloise, thank-you.
It was a lovely, happy day and so encouraging for me as we are still in the early days after William's transplant. I told William all about Eloise's special birthday and he was, naturally, very intrigued and excited about the idea. We will definately find our own special way of remembering his wonderful donor and celebrating his new life. I hope there are many, many more celebratory heart birthdays for Eloise, for William and for everyone else too.