A toddler with a new heart is fronting a Christmas appeal for a children’s charity.

Two-year-old Beatrix Adamson-Archbold had a heart transplant in July after being kept alive by a mechanical (Berlin) heart for 14 months on the organ donation ward at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

Now Bea, her parents, Cheryl and Terry, and 13-year-old sister Eliza are promoting this year’s appeal, No Family Alone, to help raise much-needed funds and awareness.

The Northern Echo:

Cheryl, from Burnopfield, near Stanley, said: “We wouldn’t have coped without Rainbow Trust.

“I hope that you will support this appeal. Many other families like mine need your help right now.”

Bea was rushed to hospital in May 2022, aged 15 months, and her parents thought it was Covid however she was in heart failure.

Diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy after emergency surgery she went into cardiac arrest.

Her parents had to choose between no resuscitation or emergency surgery to connect Bea to a mechanical heart.

Cheryl said: “That first night in A&E was the longest night of my life.”

She did not return home for 16 weeks, staying in hospital accommodation with Terry going home at 7pm and returning at 7am the following morning.

Cubicle 4, ward 23 was Bea’s home for 15 months, 14 of which she spent on the Berlin Heart.

The Northern Echo: Beatrix Adamson-Archbold Beatrix Adamson-Archbold (Image: Contributor)The couple was coping with the very real fear that Bea might die and being separated from Eliza all on top of a family tragedy in 2018 when their baby daughter Isabel died of an unrelated heart condition.

In spring 2022, they were referred to Rainbow Trust, which has nine care teams of family support workers helping families practically and emotionally when a child is diagnosed with a terminal or life-threatening illness. 

Monica, one of the trust’s family support workers, helped the couple throughout their time in hospital and now at home.

Monica collected Eliza from school, took her to hospital, and had fun with her providing much-needed respite.

She would put Bea to bed in hospital so Cheryl could spend more time with Eliza and attend important school events.  

Recommended reading:

Get the latest news, sports, and entertainment delivered straight to your device with a subscription to The Northern Echo. Click here 

Terry said: “When all is overwhelming, impossible to manage, feeling that there is no light, a family support worker like Monica can help.

“We hope you will find it in your heart to donate.”

To support Rainbow Trust’s fundraising appeal and make a donation visit rainbowtrust.org.uk/christmas or call 01372-220-083.