Heart op teen in battle to save unborn baby

Sandra Hodgson and her daughter Georgina Powell on holiday in Malta.
Sandra Hodgson and her daughter Georgina Powell on holiday in Malta.
Share this article

A battling teen whose life was saved by a heart transplant is now facing a desperate fight to save another life – that of her unborn baby.

Nineteen-year-old Georgina Powell’s waters have broken at just 23 weeks and three days pregnant.

But the teen must not give birth until Saturday for her baby to be considered viable at 24 weeks and have a better chance of survival.

The situation is also dangerous for Georgina herself, who has already defied expectations by becoming pregnant.

Her desperately worried mum Sandra Hodgson told the Visitor: “I’ve nearly lost Georgina over and over again in my lifetime and I don’t want to lose her to this.”

Georgina’s waters have broken and she is at risk from infection which could potentially kill her and her unborn baby.

But the plucky teenager, who featured in The Visitor when she had a heart transplant at just 15, is adamant she doesn’t want to give birth until Saturday when the baby reaches 24 weeks.

Georgina’s mum Sandra Hodgson, 54, of Stanhope Avenue, Morecambe, her 
boyfriend Luke Ingol, twin sister Samantha, sisters Khadijah, Nik and Zoe and stepdad Pete, are all praying Georgina and the baby pull through.

Sandra, a trader at Morecambe’s Festival Market, said sobbing: “Georgina wasn’t expected to survive to adulthood.

“It has been a hard battle for her and she was told she would never have children.

“She fell in love with her partner called Luke and eventually was expecting a baby.

“Transplant babies are so rare and she has been poorly throughout but she is determined to be positive.

“Last Tuesday, her waters broke and she was taken to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

“She was eventually transferred to St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester, where she is being treated.

“She was told that she was getting poorlier and doctors were concerned about infection getting into the placenta and into her bloodstream, which could be fatal to mother and baby.

“On Friday, they wanted Georgina to end her pregnancy but at less than 23 weeks the baby wouldn’t be viable.

“She has fought for everything and even knowing that she would be threatening her own life, she wants to wait until 24 weeks is up.

“She said to me ‘I’ve come this far and this is my only hope for ever having a child. I’m not letting go of this baby.’

“It’s her decision but she is fighting for her life and the baby’s life.

“She is just hanging in there for the baby to be viable at 24 weeks.

“As her mother I am absolutely distraught. I don’t want her to lose her life.

“She is really racing against the clock now.”

Georgina is having blood tests every six hours to make sure infection isn’t present.

If infection is present, doctors would have to intervene to save Georgina’s life, but may not be able to save the baby’s life, said her mum.

Sandra said: “She is remarkable - it is so heart breaking, we are just waiting and praying for a happy outcome.”

Former Heysham High School pupil Georgina was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy (an enlarged weakened heart) after picking up a viral infection when she was just six months old.

Her condition always restricted her from being able to take part in many children’s activities.

In July 2010, Georgina and her family received the news they had been waiting for that a successful match was found and the operation was carried out on July 30.

She donated her own heart for scientific research.