TRAGIC heart transplant patient Kelly Wood has left a poignant poetic legacy.
Twenty-year-old Kelly was one of the youngest people in the UK ever to have heart transplant surgery when she was just nine months old.
But she went on to achieve acclaim as a national transplant athlete, winning many medals.
She died on July 28 in the specialist heart hospital, Harefield Hospital in Middlesex.
She had been transferred there from the Royal Calderdale Hospital in Halifax after suffering from chest pains.
Kelly lived with her grandparents, Martin and Carol Wood, and after she died they found some amazing poems written by Kelly on her laptop.
Martin said: “Some of the poems seemed as though she knew her life was not destined to be very long. We can only imagine what her motivation was for writing the poems. She did go through a period in her later teens of deep depression and was constantly writing.
“I remember her filling the bin on a regular basis with screwed-up writing paper. Towards the end she seemed to sleep most of the day and stop awake all night, writing, listening to music and talking to other night owls on her laptop.”
Martin added: “There were messages to her three best friends. I gave them each a card with Kelly’s thoughts of them printed inside.
“We gave out remembrance cards to most of the people who attended her funeral at Christ Church Woodhouse last Thursday with her picture on and her words printed inside.”
Friends and some of Kelly’s former tutors at Huddersfield Technical College read the poetry out at the service.
Martin said: “Kelly’s ambition in life was to get her words into print and to be a writer. A fortune teller had told her that this would be so!”
Kelly was born at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary in January, 1988. But within two days doctors discovered she had an irregular heartbeat.
Tests confirmed that Kelly had Noonan’s Syndrome, an extremely rare condition affecting just one baby in tens of thousands.
At first Kelly’s family was told she had just weeks to live, but in October, 1988, when she was nine months old she had a heart transplant at Brompton Hospital in London.
The surgery was performed by a team of surgeons from Harefield Hospital; the two are linked as the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust.
Kelly’s young parents separated because of the stress of the illness and she was raised by grandparents Martin and Carol in Fartown before they all recently moved to a bungalow in Deighton.
Kelly went to Lydgate Special School in New Mill, became involved in sport and in 1998 won bronze medals in running and tug-of-war at the British Transplant Games in Belfast. Four years later she won gold, silver and bronze medals.
Kelly went on to attend Huddersfield Technical College .
She had regular tests at Leeds Children’s Cardiac Centre and visited Harefield Hospital once a year for a check-up.
A collection at Kelly’s funeral raised £174 for an MRI scanner appeal at Harefield. Martin and Carol gave the money to the Harefield children’s transplant team at the British Transplant Games in Sheffield on Sunday.
Click on the next page to read some of Kelly's poems
Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.
To handle yourself use your head, to handle your friends use your heart.
The only people you need in your life are those that need you in theirs.
Dream as if you'll live forever and live as if you'll die today.
You gotta take the good with the bad,
Smile with the sad,
Love wot u got,
And remember wot u had.
Learn to forgive, but never forget.
Learn from your mistakes, but never regret.
People change, things go wrong
Life goes on
A friend will lend you an umbrella when it's raining
A best friend would steal yours and say "run bitch run"
A friend will invite you to stay at their house once a month
A best friend's house is their second home
A friend doesn't know your mum and dad's names
A best friend has got their numbers
A friend gets jealous when you wear the same clothes as them
A best friend tells you to wear the same clothes as them
A friend will never know you’re upset if you cover it up with a smile
A best friend always know when you’re upset
A friend will send you a postcard when they are on holiday
A best friend will take you on holiday with them
A friend would bail you out of jail and tell you what you did was wrong
A best friend would be sitting right next to you saying " we messed up, but this was fun"
Friends are for a little while,
Best friends are forever
Best friends are the ones you share everything with
Best friends are always there for you
Best friends are the ones who cheer you up when you are down
Best friends are the ones who walk in when the rest walk out
Don't settle for friends you can live with
Settle for best friends that you can’t live without…
Because your best friends are the ones who stick with you through the ups and the downs in your life
Best friends are the ones you can trust with your whole heart
Best friends are the ones who will stick with you right till the end…...no matter what……