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Nursery worker, 21, who was waiting for life-saving liver operation dies after being taken off transplant list when she tested positive for coronavirus in hospital

Nursery worker, 21, who was waiting for life-saving liver operation dies after being taken off transplant list when she tested positive for coronavirus in hospital
     
A nursery worker who was waiting for a life-saving liver operation has died after being taken off the transplant list when she tested positive for coronavirus in hospital.
Katie Horne, from Burgess Hill, was admitted around four weeks ago with a severe liver condition. 
The 21-year-old from West Sussex went to Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath where it became apparent she needed a transplant.
Pictured: Katie Horne, who was denied a transplant
Katie Horne (pictured) died on Saturday
Katie Horne (pictured) from Burgess Hill was taken off the transplant list when she tested positive for coronavirus 
She was then transferred to King's College Hospital in London, where she tested positive for coronavirus, her sister Emma told the BBC
Ms Horne then wasn't able to go on the transplant list and struggled with both the liver condition and coronavirus for 12 days. She was not using a ventilator during her stay. 
Her death comes as:
  • Britain's death toll rose by 737 to surge past 10,000 with one expert warning it was set to be the highest in Europe; 
  • It emerged the Cabinet is split over when to end the lockdown, with growing concerns about the impact of school closures; 
  • Michael Gove revealed he had been granted special dispensation to have his daughter tested for the virus so he could get back to work; 
  • The Archbishop of Canterbury urged that the dead be treated with dignity; 
  • Ministers admitted that only 4,200 of 300,000 small firms had been given loans; 
  • The Royal College of Nursing told its members to refuse to treat patients if they didn't have adequate protective clothing; 
  • Some Britons flouted lockdown rules and were seen soaking up the sun in the nation's parks; 
  • Health Secretary Hancock said he did not have any update on how many NHS staff had died following the 19 he confirmed on Saturday; 
  • The Queen stressed the importance of maintaining the coronavirus lockdown, but insisted: 'Easter isn't cancelled; indeed, we need Easter as much as ever'. 
All organ donors are tested for coronavirus with transplants from infected patients being stopped to minimise risk.
Since the measures came in on March 31, the NHS have prevented some life-saving organs from being transplanted to recipients to stop the spread of the virus.
Donations are not known to transmit the killer bug, but transplant recipients are immuno-suppressed to prevent organ rejection.
 Ms Horne's family say they are 'completely devastated' by her death after he life ended on Saturday. Emma wants her 'bubbly' sister's tragic death to be a 'wake-up call' for people to take the pandemic seriously. She said: 'People need to understand how serious this is.'
Speaking about her sister, she said: 'If anyone needed anything, you could always count on Kate to be there. She was so full of life and happy. We just can't believe it — we are absolutely devastated.'
Her heartbroken boyfriend, Jamie Carter, shared his sorrow on Facebook, writing: 'It's with great sadness that we have to inform all of Kate's friends that she sadly passed away this morning at 5.45am of a short illness and contributing to her death is this devastating coronavirus. She will always be loved and will forever be in our hearts.'
Tilly Carter, a friend of Katie's, also wrote on Facebook: 'Heaven gained another angel. She will always be loved and will forever be in our hearts.' 
Hundreds of gravely ill Britons waiting for organ transplants fear they could die in self-isolation because procedures have largely been stopped because of coronavirus.      
Hospitals have started suspending the life-saving surgery in a desperate attempt to free up beds with operations down from around 80-a-week to less than ten, it was reported on Thursday.
Health bosses have warned that the high-risk operations could be scrapped entirely within days as the NHS prepares for a larger surge coronavirus cases. 
A shortage of NHS workers and lack of critical care beds have already seen some hospitals suspend the procedures. Though partly-driven by a desire to protect patients' health, it will leave many facing an increased risk of death.
Ana-Rose Thorpe, 29, from Manchester, who is waiting for a liver transplant, says the issue is a 'matter of life and death' for her because her health is deteriorating at home.People who undergo organ transplants are immuno-suppressed which leaves them at risk of picking up disease (stock image)
People who undergo organ transplants are immuno-suppressed which leaves them at risk of picking up disease (stock image)
She told the BBC: 'Having to go into hospital while there are coronavirus patients there is very worrying. This is a window of opportunity for a transplant without the coronavirus. Whilst my body could withstand the transplant, the longer I'm not being monitored, not being seen as often as I was, the longer I leave it, I could just get sicker and sicker.
'I feel like it's patients that are already on the transplant list, patients waiting for other operations, we have just been swept aside. It's not any fault of the NHS, no-one can help what is going on.
'They are trying to make it safe for us but we are still terrified of going into hospital. It's my life - it is a matter of life and death'. 
NHS Blood and Transplant said hospitals are having their capacity to carry out donations and transplants affected under the strain of coronavirus.
However, the NHS urges blood donors to continue making appointments as long as they are 70 or under

However, the NHS urges blood donors to continue making appointments as long as they are 70 or under
Professor John Forsythe, Medical Director for Organ Donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: 'As the situation with COVID-19 is ever changing across the country, so is the picture regarding donation and transplantation.
'Some transplant units have made the difficult decision to close their transplant programmes for now.
'This to support the NHS in treating COVID-19 patients and other patients needing intensive care.
'Every potential organ donor on an Intensive Care Unit is being tested for the virus and if someone has COVID-19 they will not be able to donate.
'NHS capacity to deal with COVID-19 at this time and the safety of organ donation and patients in need of a transplant is paramount.
'Ensuring the safety of organ donation and transplantation during this pandemic is creating substantial challenges.'
Lifesaving organ transplants are still going ahead on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of local units' clinical staff.
Blood donations are being encouraged despite the lockdown as they are deemed vital to vulnerable people. 
Donors who have had coronavirus or have self-isolated are able to give blood just 14 days after their symptoms have settled.
Those who have had contact with a confirmed case of the virus can still donate as long as they are symptom-free.
However, donors above the age of 70 have been asked to stay at home, in line with government guidelines.  
More people with medical conditions - making them particularly vulnerable to coronavirus - are being added to the Government's shielding programme, the chief medical officer for England said this week.
Professor Chris Whitty said medical specialists and GPs had helped identify additional patients who were not initially included in the high-risk group, who need special protection amid the coronavirus pandemic.
A woman with type 1 diabetes who was awaiting a life-saving kidney transplant last month revealed her operation was been 'suspended' as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
Lara Wahab, 32, of London, has lived with her condition for 25 years after being diagnosed when she was seven.
She told how she's nearly gone blind, suffered from a bone infection and been hospitalised for a month as a result of her debilitating condition.
Lara was informed in April last year that her kidneys are failing and was put forward for an SPK - simultaneous kidney pancreas - transplant, which involves waiting for a deceased donor who would need to be the perfect match for her.
Lara Wahab, 32, of London, has type 1 diabetes and is awaiting a life-saving kidney transplant
Lara Wahab, 32, of London, has type 1 diabetes and is awaiting a life-saving kidney transplant
But following the outbreak of the coronavirus, her operation is now on hold due to a lack of beds in intensive care units and her surgery being consider 'considered 'non-urgent elective'.
Lara, an account manager at advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy, is urging the government not to 'forget' about patients like her when putting measures in place to combat Covid-19.
She added that living with a chronic illness can make you feel 'invisible' and called on people to show kindness and check in with friends and relatives during this difficult time.
'I'm still looking for answers as to how they can define a life-saving operation such as my kidney transplant as 'non-urgent elective' surgery,' Lara wrote in Huff Post.
'Waiting for an operation of such magnitude is difficult. Waiting for the waiting to start again, with no idea on timeframe is unbearable. 
'Will I still have a chance to find love? Will I see my sister achieve her dreams? Will I be around to support my family in times of need? Will I see my friends get married and have children? Will I live, or will I die?' 
Lara acknowledged that the NHS needs to take drastic measures to handle the coronavirus crisis, and praised frontline workers for the work they're doing to contain it.
'Our wonderful NHS workers can only do so much without the support and resources that are required to deliver the care system necessary not to endanger lives,' she said.
'But, sometimes, living with a chronic illness can make you feel invisible. We carry on with daily lives hiding our internal struggles, constantly striving for normality, while our necessary care and treatment is cancelled left, right and centre. 
'I want people to know that this is the real fallout of a virus like this.'
Speaking about the day she was told her kidneys are failing, Lara recalled initially feeling 'angry and anxious' about missing work.
Having struggled to come to terms with her diabetes, which has 'denied her' of so much over the years, Lara said she felt 'numb, confused and without hope' that it was now taking away her vital organs and threatening her life. She was strongly advised to go for a pancreas transplant which would simultaneously address her kidney failure, meaning her diabetes would not threaten her new kidney.
'The thought of living out some of my life without type 1 diabetes seemed like nirvana – as if I was able to go back to my seven-year-old self, and tell her that everything was going to be okay,' she said. 
'I felt incredibly lucky – honoured – to be given this second chance.' 
After three months of rigorous testing and being accepted onto the double organ list, Lara likened the feeling of waiting for the phone call telling her an organ had come available to living on a knife's edge, 'surviving just long enough' to make it.
'There have been a few wobbles over the last six months on whether to accept a donation from my mum or stick out the wait, but time and time again, my amazing care team have convinced me that the long-term benefits of the operation will be worth the crippling anxiety,' she said. 
'Then, a plot twist: coronavirus.' 
Lara said she started to fear the worst in December, knowing that when the virus hit the UK, the fact she had type 1 diabetes and end-stage chronic kidney disease meant she would be in the vulnerable category.
She logged onto her patient portal and made the agonising discovery that her transplant status had changed to suspended.
Lara contacted her care team and was told all SPK transplants and kidney transplants are being suspended for the time being, which 'rippled through her like a shockwave'. 
She received a letter the following day citing the limited number of ICU beds and the potential risk to other patients should it go ahead. 
Lara said in this period of self-isolation, people like her now need the love, kindness and support of others around her, adding that a call or text goes a long way.
'Don't underestimate the power of the smallest gesture to give people like me the will to survive,' she said. 'Please don’t let us disappear.' 

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