Angus double lung transplant youngster Ruby Walker is finally dreaming of a happy and healthy homecoming.
Just six weeks after the brave 10-year-old received her new organs in a lifesaving operation, Ruby’s mum Diane Boyd has spoken of her daughter’s “amazing” progress and the hope of a return to Arbroath soon.
On March 28, the Hayshead Primary School pupil finally underwent the long-awaited double transplant at Newcastle’s specialist Freeman Hospital after her agonising wait on the urgent priority list.
Ruby, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at the age of two weeks, had battled numerous setbacks throughout her young life, the latest a collapsed lung on Christmas Day last year as the search for a donor continued.
Since the transplant, her progress has delighted medics and mum Diane revealed the homecoming hope in the latest update to the Ruby’s Dreams Facebook page which has been inundated with messages of support throughout the youngster’s journey.
Ruby has now moved into a special flat for transplant patients to be with their family.
“She’s getting stronger everyday, gaining weight and enjoying life. It has been great to see her so happy and laughing,” said Diane.
“We are now looking forward to hopefully getting home very soon.
“Ruby did her first lung function on Thursday, the results were not as good as would have hoped for, but she’s out of practice and needs to work on her technique.
“We hope to see this continue to improve and I’m trying to not focus on the numbers and tests but to look at Ruby, which shows how well she is now.”
Diane also had special praise for the staff at Ninewells in Dundee, the critical care unit in Edinburgh, Freeman Hospital and Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary for their involvement in her daughter’s care.
Diane added: “Ruby has been in four different hospitals in her journey and everyone has been amazing.
“I’m eternally grateful to everyone involved, and hopefully our next update will be from home,” she said.
Ruby’s positive progress has coincided with May’s Cystic Fibrosis awareness month, the condition which for many involves a rigorous daily treatment regime including physiotherapy, oral, nebulised and occasionally intravenous antibiotics, and taking enzyme tablets with food.
Diane added: “Ruby will no longer require machines and oxygen, which she has needed since she was seven months old.
“Ruby will never be free of cystic fibrosis, but her donor and family have given her the gift of CF-free lungs.”