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.
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.
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.”
“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.