The parents of a two-year-old girl who had a life-saving heart transplant have described the joy of looking forward to spending Christmas with her. 

Terry Archbold, 45, and Cheryl Adamson, 40, of Burnopfield, spoke as Beatrix, affectionately known as Bea, enjoyed the honour of turning on Durham County Hall's Christmas lights this evening (Monday, November 4).

Bea waited for 14 months for a heart transplant, while she was kept alive by a Berlin Heart at Newcastle's Freeman hospital, before she received a new one.

The Northern Echo: Beatrix 'Bea' Anderson-Archbold

Dad Terry said: "This evening has been great for Bea, because this time last year - and even until a few months ago - we didn't know she would make it for Christmas.

"So to have a home because due to the greatest gift anybody could give - the gift of life - to have her here is absolutely magical.

"And she's full of life and full of beans - it's great and it's brilliant that Durham County Council thought on her."The Northern Echo: Beatrix 'Bea' Anderson-Archbold

Bea suffered heart failure when she was 15 months old and underwent emergency open heart surgery at the Freeman Hospital, where she was fitted with a mechanical (Berlin) heart.

It kept her alive at the Freeman Hospital for 14 months until she had a successful heart transplant in July.

Terry, who was joined Bea's grandparents and older sister Eliza, along wityh council chair Cllr Joan Nicholson, said: "Bea has been recovering since.

"We're looking forward to Christmas. She's well aware who Santa is. The gift of life is the greatest Christmas gift you could hope for.The Northern Echo: Beatrix 'Bea' Anderson-Archbold

Terry has always been an advocate for organ donation said: "People may not know, but we actually lost a daughter in 2018 and actually donated her organs.

"So we understand how hard it is to lose a child and how hard it is when asked to donate organs. So to be recipients as well it just highlights just how magical that gift is."

Bea is also fronting the Rainbow Trust's No Family Alone Christmas Appeal.

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Terry said: The Rainbow Trust supplies support workers for families like us with critically ill children across the country

"We had a worker called Monica who was with us from the off and is still with us now.

"We could not have got through our time in hospital without Monica's support or the Rainbow Trust.

"They would free up time for us to spend time with Bea’s big sister Eliza.  . just could’nt have coped without them. An absolutely invaluable service.The Northern Echo: Beatrix Adamson-Archbold and her family are fronting the Rainbow Trust appeal

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