Teenage transplant patient is back shopping for bargains after learning to walk again

A teenage heart and kidney transplant patient can now shop in Primark again after an online exercise class helped her walk again.

Courtney Price and mother Lorraine
Courtney Price and mother Lorraine

Courtney Price, from West Bromwich, underwent a gruelling 12-hour operation in July last year and was left struggling to walk for longer than a few minutes.

However, after encouragement and cajoling by the cardiac rehabilitation team at City Hospital, she can now go bargain hunting unaided.

The 17-year-old said: "I love going shopping and have really missed it. But I can get round Primark now without any problems.

"When I came round after the operation I couldn’t walk. As I started to recover getting around still wasn’t easy and I could barely get around the house, let alone go outside. I would get very tired.

"The physio staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital where I had the operation helped me to sit up, stand and use the stairs and were helpful and nice to me and my family. When I got home I couldn't walk very far and that's when the exercise physiologist Jake O’Brien from the cardiac rehab team at City Hospital helped me to become stronger and regain all the muscles that I lost due to being in bed."

She added: "He was so considerate and was constantly making sure I was ok throughout. When I began I could just about do 10 minutes, now I’m able to do the entire 30 minute class and am much stronger than before.

"The online class with Jake is once a week and I also do another exercise produced by the team in my own time. And I also go out walking. Most importantly, it’s given me my freedom back and really boosted my confidence."

Courtney was diagnosed with a rare kidney condition called MPGN Type 2, a disease that affects the filters of the kidneys. Unfortunately, her body rejected the transplanted kidney soon after her operation. She is due to undergo another transplant in the future.

Her mum Lorraine, 47, who is her full-time carer, said: “The way that Jake and the team have cared for Courtney has been brilliant. Having these online sessions have helped immensely and have really improved her health and fitness.

"Courtney is still on dialysis, so we have to be careful. It’s so important she builds up her strength and we can’t thank Jake enough for what he has done for her. Courtney has missed out on so much over the past year – her prom, spending time with her school friends. It’s been hard. So for her to be able to get out and about again has been good for her both mentally and physically."

Mr O'Brien said: “Courtney has been under the care of the cardiac rehabilitation team for the last six months. During this time, we have all been inspired by her progress and her transformation which has been achieved by her bravery, motivation and sheer determination.

"Our cardiac rehabilitation team includes cardiac nurse specialists, exercise physiologists and cardiac rehabilitation assistants. We see patients with a wide range of cardiac conditions some of whom may have multiple conditions."

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