FOR seven-year-old James Bartlett an organ transplant was the gift of life.
After undergoing a double liver and bowel transplant, he is full of life.
He said: “I like going to the drama academy. I like playing guitar, singing, riding my bike, playing football and cricket and I’m going to be a farmer, actor and a jockey!”
The young boy racing around the house playing with his toys, understands he has a “new tummy”.
“He thought we got it from a shop but yesterday we explained to him that it was donated by another child,” says mum Jane.
James was just three when his intestine twisted and his small bowel had to be removed resulting in severe liver damage.
His double transplant operation was carried out at Birmingham Children’s Hospital on January 11 2005. Now he lives life to the full.
“We have to be careful and keep him away from people when they have tummy bugs and things like that,” explains his mum. “But his school, Eaton Primary, are brilliant and so are the parents there. They know the situation.”
James has to take anti-rejection drugs three times a day and his drinking water has to be boiled because he is unable to have it straight from the tap.
He is desperate to go swimming, like his younger sisters Lauren and Millie, but accepts he might never be able to because of the danger of swallowing the water. Otherwise he says he can do everything.
Jane says: “James is an example of the miracles that can be performed. People can give others the gift of life.”
The Bartlett family have been in contact with his donor’s family and keep them up to date with James’ progress.
“We will be eternally grateful to the people who donated the organs to James,” adds Jane.