Sunderland woman who UK's first ever heart transplant baby launches face masks venture - with all proceeds going to the hospital which saved her life

A Sunderland woman who was the UK’s first heart transplant baby has been supporting the community and raising money for the hospital that saved her life with a new face masks venture.

Sunday, 19th July 2020, 6:00 am

Kaylee Davidson-Olley was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy causing serve breathing problems as a baby.

After her operation, Kaylee was able to live a normal and healthy life up until 2014, where she started encountering problems with her heart and was told she may require a second transplant.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Kaylee (right) and her mum Carol

Her medical situation means the 33-year-old was among those forced to shield during lockdown.

Stuck indoors, she wanted something to keep her occupied – so decided to start making face masks for the community and donating the money to Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital, where she had her life saving surgery as a baby.

Kaylee and her mum, Carol Olly, started Funky Masks Made With Love, and have been blown away by the response of people wanting to help their cause.

Kaylee said: “The children’s heart unit fund at the Freeman Hospital has been a huge part of my life. I decided I want to support them by helping others who were like me.”

Kaylee (right) and her Mum Carol

“Helping the community, giving kindness back and bringing good into the world is something I really wanted to and I couldn’t do it without my mum, she’s my rock.”

During lockdown, Kaylee has been doing regular walks and exercise to keep her heart as fit and healthy as possible, but has not been able to see anyone outside her household since March, due to shielding.

She added: “I’ve found lockdown very difficult at times but the masks and sewing keep me occupied most days.”

Kaylee hopes the new venture will encourage people to stay safe and limit the spread of coronavirus, while also raising awareness for organ transplants.

Masks by Kaylee and Carol can be purchased via their Funky Masks Made With Love Facebook page.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you

How to subscribe to the print edition

It’s easy to subscribe to your local newspaper. We have arranged a special 20 per cent off subscription offer for people to take advantage of. Visit, choose the newspaper title, the type of subscription and enter your details.