UK's first ever heart transplant baby Kaylee pleads with public to follow social distancing rules

A Sunderland woman who was the UK’s first heart transplant baby is urging people to obey Government advice to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Kaylee Davidson-Olley was just five-months-old when she underwent life-saving surgery at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital in October 1987.

NHS guidelines state that people who’ve had an organ transplant are classes as very high risk during the coronavirus outbreak.

Kaylee, from Houghton, said: “It is just terrifying to contemplate the fact that my life and the lives of my beloved transplant community are in serious danger due to the selfish actions of others who don’t seem to care.

Kaylee Davison-Olley and mum Carol

“You may think this is a small event, a flu like virus that will just disappear, but for us it is life-threatening. I am making a plea to each and every one of you to stay at home to protect me and everyone else in our UK community who has a transplant, cancer patients or sufferers from any other underlying health condition.

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Kaylee was left horrified by scenes of people gathering at outdoor beauty spots including parks and beaches over the weekend.

She said: “I watched the news in disbelief yesterday as people were not practising the social distancing measures, despite the Prime Minister’s advice and the Chief Medical Officer, Chris Witty.

“While these people are out socialising and having fun, the dedicated NHS staff are working tirelessly to save lives – lives that could have been put in danger by the irresponsible and reckless actions of these people.”

She urged people to take the rules around social distancing more seriously.

She said: “After my heart transplant as a baby in 1987, the people of the North East and the UK took me to their hearts and you have been with me and my family every step of the way. I implore you now to speak to all friends, families wherever you are in the UK and spread this important message to stay at home and practice social distancing of two metres as a minimum today, before it’s too late.”

Kaylee’s mum Carol Olley said: “I am begging you, as a mum to stay home, follow the government Guidance and to think of your own family. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you are not affected.”