Teenage transplant patient: ‘At last I know what feeling well is like’

PUBLISHED: 06:00 04 February 2014

Jane Sharpe, the CEO of Rays of Sunshine,  and Sophie last week

Jane Sharpe, the CEO of Rays of Sunshine, and Sophie last week


A former Hatfield schoolgirl said she now knows what “normal feels like” after undergoing a life saving operation.

Sophie Washington with her mum, Lisa, several days after her operationSophie Washington with her mum, Lisa, several days after her operation

Sophie Washington, 18, who attended Bishop’s Hatfield Girls’ School, had a pancreas transplant in December after more than 18 months of being on the organ donation register.

The teenager, who now lives in Wales, told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “It is just brilliant, I know what feeling well is like now.

“I had been ill for nine years and I didn’t know what normal felt like anymore.”

The former Welwyn Garden City resident was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of nine which steadily worsened as she got older. After doctors told her it was uncontrollable she was put on the transplant list in March 2012.

Last month, in the middle of the night, she was told she would receive her new pancreas.

But nothing could prepare her for the life-saving phone call.

“However long you are on the list it seems very sudden when the call actually comes,” she said

“It was amazing.

“My mum took the call and came and woke me up.

“Because we now live in Carmarthenshire, and you have to be at the hospital within three hours, we had an RAF helicopter come and take me to Guys [Hospital], and that was incredibly exciting in itself.

“And an hour and a half later we were at the hospital.”

Sophie is still currently in London for check-ups, but so far there have been no problems.

She is now studying psychology with the Open University and is an ambassador for the Rays of Sunshine charity.

Sophie also campaigns for people to sign up to the organ donation register.

“It is the best gift that you can give someone, to be able to give someone a second chance,” Sophie said.

To help Sophie fundraise visit www.justgiving.com/sophie-washington

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