TEENAGER Faye Kelly has vowed to say “Thanks” – for her life.
The survivor of two major heart operations is wanting to raise cash for the charities that helped her and to raise awareness of the condition.
And she was joined by her family at a Huddersfield supermarket to get the campaign under way.
Faye,17, from Dalton was diagnosed at 14 with Turner Syndrome – a genetic condition which can cause swelling of the hands and feet, infertility, high blood pressure and heart disease.
Now she and her family have raised £500 by holding an information stall at Sainbury’s, Shorehead.
The money will be doubled by Sainsbury’s Local Heroes scheme and split equally between the Turner Syndrome Support Society (TSSS) and The Children’s Heart Surgery Fund at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI).
Faye had two life-saving operations at the LGI in December 2004 and March 2005. She suffered nerve damage following a stroke during the second operation but Faye made a full recovery within six months.
Now Faye has earned distinctions on her course in Child Care at Huddersfield Technical College this year together with a Kirklees Bravery Award last year and a Master’s Award from TSSS in 2005.
Faye and family starting raising money for the charities after Faye’s first operation.
The family raised £505 for the two charities bag packing at the supermarket in February and £380 at an Easter pub crawl.
Mother Jennie McMullen, 43, said: “She’s made a fantastic recovery.
“Leeds General Infirmary couldn’t have done more for her. The staff there are so dedicated. We wanted to give back what they gave to us.
“Through TSSS Faye has met so many people with the same condition. She’s normally quite shy but she gets on really well with the people she meets through TSSS because they’ve got something in common.
“With high blood pressure it’s amazing how she’s managed to do what she did. If she hadn’t had the operations she may not have survived past her early 20s.
Faye said: “The people of Huddersfield have been really generous. It’s about wanting to put something back.
“I wasn’t diagnosed until January 2004 and had the first operation later that year.
“It was not a success but the second operation in March 2005 was a complete success”.
Faye, a former pupil at Almondbury High School, now plans to continue studying child care at the Technical College.