The family of an Aberdeen woman who had a major operation to repair her heart have thanked members of the public for raising more than £1,000 to help them.
Kim McAllister, from Mastrick, underwent the gruelling 14-hour surgery in early December at Hammersmith Hospital in London to fix a tear in her aorta.
The 28-year-old’s kidneys and lungs stopped functioning properly during the procedure and she was placed in a medically induced coma.
Her mum today said she had been left with spinal damage as a result of the risks associated with the surgery – though it’s unknown if she will suffer permanent consequences.
She was referred to the hospital to be operated on by a specialist surgeon who could fix the tear, which she sustained while pregnant with daughter Rylee, 2.
During the surgery Kim was also given a tracheotomy to help her breathe.
Now a fundraising campaign has been launched to give financial support to Kim and her family, including making changes to their home. The family’s efforts have raised £1,250 so far.
Her mum Brenda Wallace said: “When I first saw Kim after the operation, I wasn’t sure what I was expecting. Her whole body was swollen and I actually didn’t recognise her.
“They knew what the risks were before the operation went ahead, but her heart wouldn’t have lasted otherwise. They were going to give her a stent but it wouldn’t have stood the test of time.
“She’s making progress now and can now sit up and wave to us. She has a whiteboard so she can write messages to her husband, Sean, and her daughter Rylee.
“The staff at Hammersmith have been first class. They’ve kept us informed throughout the process.”
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Kim’s health problems began at the age of just seven, when she was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease. The genetic disorder causes fluid-filled cysts to grow in the kidneys.
Brenda added: “Kim has really been through a lot but she’s a fighter.
“But Kim and Sean have a long road ahead of them which is why we’ve started up a Facebook campaign.
“It will cover travel expenses to the hospital, household bills and potential adjustments to the house that might have to be made if the worst comes to the worst.”
Kim’s husband Sean said: “We just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who is sharing the fundraising campaign and donating.
“It’s incredible what people can do.”