08:30, 6 March 2015 By Craig Thompson
Livewire Patrick Skinner is the picture of health as he prepares to mark a very special anniversary – the day his life was saved.
Running around his family’s garden in Monkseaton, the eight-year-old is without a care in the world.
But mum Devon, 31, knows that without the kindness of a stranger, her son’s life would have been very different.
Six years ago this month Patrick made medical history when he and Ellen Walsh, who lived just streets apart, became the first two children in Britain to have heart transplants in the same hospital on the same day.
The Year 4 Star of the Sea RC Primary School pupil was first diagnosed with leukaemia in July 2008, and suffered heart failure months later after his body reacted badly to chemotherapy drugs. He was then placed on a double Berlin Heart machine.