The Freeman Hospital has celebrated the 25th anniversary of the first ever successful baby heart transplant in the country.
On October 14, 1987, Kaylee Davidson-Olley made medical history.
She is now the longest surviving heart transplant recipient in the country, and the third longest in the world.
On Friday, October 12, she attended the largest ever gathering of UK heart transplant recipients at the Centre For Life, Newcastle.
The guest-list included more than 30 patients from around the country who received transplants aged 12 months or under during the past 25 years.
Kaylee said: "Today is a celebration of life.
"The majority of these children I've seen in intensive care, and I've seen them from their worst to their best.
"Seeing these kids today and sharing my anniversary with them - I couldn't ask for anything more.
"They inspire me as much as I inspire them."
Since Kaylee’s operation, the Freeman Hospital has become a Centre of Excellence for Paediatric Heart Transplantation.
In total 112 babies under the age of one, have received new hearts during the past 25 years at either the Freeman or two other centres in the UK.
Dr Richard Kirk said: "The 25th anniversary of Kaylee's operation is a celebration of both her life, the skills of the medical team who have looked after over the years, and Kaylee and her family's determination to make the most of the gift of life from her donor.
“The Freeman transplant unit remains at the very forefront of transplant medicine and the new Institute of Transplantation at Freeman Hospital will ensure that it's international reputation will continue in the future".
To find out how to join the NHS Organ Donor Register visit www.uktransplant.org.uk or contact the Organ Donor Line on 0300 123 23 23 or text SAVE to 84118.
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