A County Durham toddler who underwent a heart transplant earlier this year was able to turn on Durham's Christmas lights in a heartwarming moment.

Beatrix Adamson-Archbold, 2, from Burnopfield, underwent a successful heart transplant in July after spending 14 months on the organ donation ward at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle being kept alive by a mechanical (Berlin) heart.

She and her parents, Cheryl and Terry, were on hand as the toddler turned on the lights at Durham County Hall on Monday (December 4) as part of the fantastic show.

The Northern Echo:

Beatrix looked delighted as the countdown began and she had the honour of lighting up the tree outside the County Hall.

Being held by her father, the brave toddler was met with applause and cheers from the crowd as the tree was illuminated.

Much to her delight, she got another opportunity to take in the crowd's adulation as she lit the tree up a second time along with another situated a short distance away.

She posed with her father by the tree, pleased with both her glasses and the attention.

Bea's father looked on proudly as his daughter posed for the cameras and told The Northern Echo "It's been great" to experience everything he has with Bea following her surgery.

"The greatest gift anybody can give is the gift of life. To have her here is absolutely magical," he added.

The Northern Echo:

In May 2022, at 15 months of age, Bea was rushed to hospital with her parents suspecting she had Covid, however, it was revealed she was in heart failure.

She was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy after emergency surgery after she went into cardiac arrest.

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

Speaking on the help they received from the Rainbow Trust and the ordeal, Cheryl said: "Cheryl, from Burnopfield, near Stanley, said: “We wouldn’t have coped without Rainbow Trust.

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

 “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.