Heart failure

Harrow mum is heartbroken after her daughter was diagnosed with heart failure aged just 10 weeks

When Sophia Amin was just 10 weeks old, she was diagnosed with heart failure and rushed into emergency transplant surgery. Now six years old, her condition is life-limiting and her transplant is not expected to last more than 20 years.

Painfully remembering the moment her daughter was diagnosed, mum Tasawar Amin, from Harrow, said: “Nothing prepares you as a parent to see your child undergo such a major operation. “I just burst into tears. I walked away from an emotional wreck wondering if I would ever see my daughter again.”

Although Sophia’s transplant was successful, she later suffered an adverse reaction to the anti-rejection medication, causing painful lesions in her mouth. “It was agony for her,” Tasawar added.

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She struggled to eat because of the lesions, until a nurse offered her a pot of chocolate cream. Easy to eat, the taste of chocolate provided much-needed comfort to Sophia during her family’s darkest hours. She found comfort in chocolate during several hospital stays.

Mum Tasawar added: “She is two and a half years after the transplant. She was diagnosed when she was 10 weeks old and her heart function was 20%. She constantly came and went to the hospital, it was quite painful and painful.

“She has had to deal with a lot in her short life so far. After the transplant, we tried to introduce her to oral feeding, but she was getting very distressed in the hospital and we sort of so I tried lots of different foods and textures and I remember one of the nurses saying to her, “Sophia, let’s go and then you can have a pot of chocolate pastry cream”.

“She had it and she loved the taste of it. So every time we go to the hospital and she has to deal with a distressing situation, she finds comfort in chocolate.”

Sophia's heart transplant was successful, but her condition is still considered life-threatening
Sophia’s heart transplant was successful, but her condition is still considered life-threatening

The family then referred her to children’s charity Make-A-Wish UK, when it became clear that chocolate would play a big part in Sophia’s wish. The charity was able to bring its ‘lots and lots of chocolate’ wish to life in October 2021, with support from Poundland and Hotel Chocolat.

Sophia, her sisters and parents were able to spend the day making chocolate creations and feasting on Sophia’s favorite food, and took home a life-size chocolate model of Molly Dolly – Sophia’s beloved soft toy.

After enjoying her fun-filled day of chocolate activities with sisters Zahra and Aisha, little Sophia said, “I’m the queen of chocolate, this is the best thing I’ve ever tasted.” Mum Tasamir added: “Sophia had an amazing day. Her wish gave her a break from having to think about the reality of her life-limiting condition. We all have these amazing memories for life.”

Although Sophia’s wish has come true, 503 other children like her are currently living with a critical condition and are waiting for a wish to be granted. Make-A-Wish UK Managing Director Jason Suckley said: “When a child like Sophia is diagnosed with a serious illness, the joy of childhood comes to an abrupt end with treatment plans, appointments and worry takes over. Sophia’s wish for ‘lots and lots of chocolate’ has helped the family create memories to cherish forever, even in the darkest of times.”

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I’m Sam, a reporter at MyLondon with a particular interest in legal and crime reporting. I started in September 2021, and am based in Ealing. You can follow my facebook page here.

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