Oli's new life

11 July 2014        

Oli and Emma Harrison back at home

In the final part of her story, Emma Harison tells us how Oli's heart transplant has transformed his, and their family's life.

One year ago our lives were very, very different.

But because of one amazing family, Oli is alive.

They gave Oli the gift of life.

Oli is now six and he’s living a completely new life. He had never really played in the school playground before, or been on a school trip.

Most amazingly he’s joined a school football club. To many mums this is normal, but to me it’s a miracle.

Before his transplant, he couldn’t even make it through a school day. Oli gets physically stronger every day.

Three years ago when he started to walk he needed a tiny walking frame for support. Now he would play football in the garden every second of the day if he could.

He can walk and run like his peers. I feel secretly so emotional to see that change.

Oli still takes lots of medication and visits the transplant centre every month for tests. So behind the door of our lives is still a secretly worrying mum and dad as we realise Oli will have regular tests to check for signs of rejection.

Most amazingly he’s joined a school football club. To many mums this is normal, but to me it’s a miracle.


His constantly tweaked anti-rejection medicine is quite literally keeping him alive. But knowing that Oli’s life is so precious and how unbelievably lucky we were, we try to live each day so positively.

Just a water fight in the garden followed by dinner together is special. I feel so proud and so grateful to our amazing donor family. I can never thank them enough.

Because of what we have been through, our whole family are organ donors.

It’s not always an easy thing to talk about, but by signing up to be an organ donor and letting our loved ones know our wishes we can give life to up to seven people.

If we were desperately ill, most of us would willingly accept a donated organ. Yet, only three in ten people have joined the organ donor register.

Perhaps it’s something you’ve always planned to do, but never got round to.

Well, make this the week you cross it off your to-do list. Sign up to be an organ donor and help save someone’s life.

Oli Harrison back at home