Sep 17, 2014 19:12 By Craig Thompson
Transplant toddler Eryn Howie is firmly on the road to recovery after she received a life saving donation – from her own mum.
The three-year-old has now just started nursery as she fights back from the surgery which saved her life.
Eryn, of Fenham, Newcastle, was born without functioning kidneys and her desperate parents, Dawn and Mark, thought they would never see her grow up.
Both Dawn, 38, and Mark, 41, were tested to see if they could donate to a kidney to their little girl – and Dawn was found to be a match.
The mum and daughter had surgery at different hospitals last autumn while Mark faced an anxious wait.
But the operation was successful and Eryn is now recovering in leaps and bounds having just started Stocksfield Avenue Nursery in Fenham.
Dawn said: “She’s amazing. Every day I look at her and just can’t believe how far she’s come.”
Now Eryn has been nominated for a Chronicle Champions Award in the Child of Courage category.
Dawn Howie with daughter Eryn. Child of Courage nominee
Dawn, also mum to Niall, 15, Callum, 12, and nine-year-old Kian, said: “She is a massive inspiration to me and everyone she meets.
“We were told on four different occasions that she wouldn’t survive, but each time she has fought back and proved everyone wrong.
“Just a couple of weeks ago she did the mini Great North Run.”
At a 30-week scan when Dawn was pregnant, she and Mark, a retail manager, were told there was only a 50/50 chance that their baby would survive.
When Eryn was born in May 2011, Dawn hardly had time to cradle her newborn in her arms before worried doctors whisked her away.
Dawn was told Eryn had end-stage kidney failure and that an operation was needed to save her.
At just three days old, Eryn was taken into surgery as she was too small for regular dialysis and her mum and dad prepared for the worst.
The operation was a success, but the catheter they inserted became infected, so had to be taken out to let Eryn heal.
Again, Eryn battled back. Following her transplant on October 24, last year, Eryn was soon walking and talking, something Mark and Dawn feared they might never see.
Dawn added: “The progress she has made since then is incredible. She is loving nursery school and has settled in really well.
“We know that in the future she will need another transplant but Mark and the three boys have all said they are willing to be tested, so hopefully she won’t be short of donors.”