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The key to Davina's new heart

Thursday 27 July 2017

Image of organ recipient, two year old Davina.
Two-year-old, Davina Mann.

In 2015 a healthy, happy, bouncy baby girl named Davina (affectionately called “D” by her family and doctors) Mann was born at the Gold Coast University Hospital. For three months, the youngest of four girls, baby D did all of the normal things that babies do…but then she got a cold.

And slowly but surely her world, and that of her family, started an extraordinary journey that would lead to her needing and receiving a new heart.

What was initially diagnosed as viral bronchiolitis would go on for five months. There was talk of her being a lifetime asthmatic and D was put on Ventolin to control her breathing.

At eight months of age, D’s health rapidly declined with her parents seeking help at the Gold Coast Hospital.

What started as a routine admission would quickly escalate to a nerve-wracking trip in the ambulance to the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital with D’s life hanging in the balance.

While at the LCCH, D  spent  two weeks in a coma and a total of five weeks in ICU, in fact she only left ICU when a CareFlight was arranged to send her to the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne for a heart review.

After three days in Melbourne, where doctor’s conducted a range of tests, and D continued to code whenever her support drugs were reduced or she was sent off for an MRI, it became obvious that she wouldn’t be leaving the city without a new heart.

After 11 weeks and four days on a life supporting VAD machine, and with doctors thinking her body could no longer cope and her life would soon end, D received an amazing gift of life – a heart transplant.

Now, D is a happy healthy two- year old, getting ready for her first day at day care and loving life back with her three doting older sisters and parents.

Her gift of life was made possible all because someone else, in their time of grief, selflessly donated their loved one’s heart.

Last updated: 23 August 2017