Sunderland woman who was the UK’s first ever heart transplant baby urges public to remain cautious
A Sunderland woman who was the UK’s first ever heart transplant baby has urged the public to continue to be cautious around coronavirus as she opens up about the struggles of shielding for five months.
From March to August, Kaylee Davidson Olley, who became the UK’s first heart transplant baby in 1987, has been shielding and had very little contact with the outside world and people outside her own household.
NHS guidelines state that people who’ve had an organ transplant are classed as very high risk during the coronavirus outbreak and Kaylee has opened up about the struggles of shielding for five months, urging the public to be sensible, remain cautious and continue practising social distancing.
She said: “Shielding for such a long time has been really tough. Staying indoors has not been easy and I’ve missed doing a lot of everyday things for five months.
“It’s been heaven being able to go out. It's such a relief but the virus isn’t gone and we all have to be sensible and stay cautious of it coming back.”
Kaylee and others who have been shielding had restrictions lifted at the beginning of August but Kaylee is remaining cautious, avoiding large gatherings and going out early morning and late nights.
To stay occupied during her isolation, Kaylee and her Mum Carol started a face masks business to raise money for the hospital ward which saved her life.
At just five months old, Kaylee became the UK’s first ever heart transplant baby when she had transplant surgery at Newcastle’s Freeman hospital, in October 1987.