Ballymena mum on gruelling heart transplant she hopes will save her life

Daniella Termonia with her two children
-Credit: (Image: Submitted)


A Ballymena mum of two is preparing for the biggest challenge of her life as she gets ready to face a gruelling heart transplant she hopes will save her life.

Daniella Termonia, 35, has suffered from a congenital heart condition since birth and has gone through a number of treatments and procedures in order to cure the condition. Unfortunately none of them have been able to provide a long-term fix.

Daniella told Belfast Live she has been able to defy the odds to become a mum and even reach the age of 35, but a transplant is her last option to live a healthy life.

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“I was in and out of hospital until I was 18 months old until I was strong enough to get open heart surgery,” Daniella says. “They went in and that kept me going until now but I have had a lot of complications.

“I was told never to have kids and I now have two kids. I was told never to have piercings and tattoos and I have plenty of both.

“I went into heart failure just after my daughter was born five years ago and it has just gradually deteriorated. I have something called SVT which basically means I have to go to the hospital regularly to get my heart restarted.

“That has now become too high risk for me and there’s a very high risk of me not coming out of it and going into cardiac arrest.

“There are very few people with my condition. My specialist started with 13 of us and there are very few of them alive now, just three as far as I know.

“I got put on the waiting list for the transplant assessment and went over to Newcastle. I was thinking I would be going on to the bottom of the list which would be two to three years waiting.

“But when I got there they told me I needed to go on to the emergency list and should get a new heart within the next seven to nine months.

“I’m slightly unprepared for it because I didn’t realise it would be happening so soon

Daniella says she worries about how the transplant will go and for her children, but adds that they are the main reason that she is going through the gruelling process.

“I’m hopeful but I am a bit nervous because it is such a big deal and there are a lot of risks with it.

“I have two young children and I’m a single parent so that is a big factor in my thinking with everything. I worry about them more than me.

“I’m nervous but I’m also glad it’s happening. Being able to run with my children is something I’ve never been able to do.

“Running around the park with them or taking them swimming by myself, those are the things that are keeping me going.

“I’m just hoping that after this those are the things that I actually will be able to do with them.

“When it happens and I’m on the other side of it, it will be amazing but it’s just a long process and quite overwhelming to think about it.”

The Ballymena mum has started to post videos online explaining the process of going through a heart transplant, in an effort to educate people around the subject.

“There is very little information about it,” she says.

“I knew very little myself going in to it and didn’t know anyone else who had ever been through it.

“I didn’t know what to expect, what the process was for it so I’m doing this as a way for other people who will go through the same thing.

“But also it helps me getting it out there and speaking about it. People look at me and they wouldn’t have a clue there is anything wrong with me.

“If they can help anyone out at all then that will be a success for me.”

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