A footballer who underwent a life-saving operation at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital and “died” twice during a heart operation, proposed to his girlfriend before his operation – “in case his new heart did not love her”. Brooklyn Peakman, 20, had a stroke that left him technically dead for 17 minutes and ended in a coma when his original valve surgery went wrong, writes the Mirror.
The goalkeeper, who played for Prestatyn Town in North Wales, was told it was unlikely he would recover. He beat the odds, but after coming out of a coma at Christmas, he was warned he needed an acute heart transplant.
Girlfriend Ellie Spencer, 18, had lived with Brooklyn and his mother Kelly during the entire shutdown. He said, “After they told me I needed a new heart, I told Ellie we’d better get engaged – just in case my new heart didn’t love her. It turns out my new heart loves her. just as much as the old one.
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“I can not wait to see her go down the hall and call her my wife. It will be a day I did not think I would get to see. ”
Brooklyn had a heart defect at birth and had two surgeries within a day after birth. His heart’s two main blood vessels were the wrong way around, sending the blood in the wrong directions.
In the weeks before he was given a new organ last month at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, he had the pain of two interrupted life-saving surgeries. The first was canceled four hours later, with Brooklyn’s chest already cut open as the donor heart began to fail.
Doctors canceled another at the theater’s doors because the donor organ was rated as a bad match. Brooklyn finally had a successful up on St Patrick’s Day – and has given his new organ the nickname “Paddy”.
He proposed to Ellie, whom he met at school before being driven down for his first transplant attempt. She said: “He smiled when I said yes, I think it relaxed him. He was quite anxious after coming so close to death.
“I wanted him to go down for his transplant knowing how much I loved him. My focus for now is to get him fully recovered.”
Kelly, also the mother of Harrison, 15, and Maggie May, 18, said: “I gasped when doctors said they might have to turn off lifesaving. They could see so much damage that they could not see how he could survive. .
“We went through a tipping point of emotion, worried he might turn down and be taken off the transplant list.” His surgery means Brooklyn will not be able to play football again.
But he still has ambitions to be a coach. He said: “It’s a blow, but I’ve got a new heart. It means I want to be able to do a lot I could not before my surgery.”
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