Grandad saves little girl’s life with surgery

Charles and Charlie Catterall
Charles and Charlie Catterall
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A BRAVE grandad is overjoyed after a painful kidney operation helped save his grand-daughter’s life.

Charlie, who lives with her mum Debbie, dad Andy and brother Jordan in Coppull, became seriously ill when her kidney started to fail when she was a toddler, and she had to spend 20 hours a week wired up to machinery in the Manchester Children Hospital’s dialysis unit.

Now, after a third attempt at the transplant operation, she’ll have more free time to play and enjoy her early years, and it’s all thanks to grandad Charles.

“I’m so relieved,” he said. “I’ve done my part, and Charlie won’t have to go to the dialysis unit anymore.

“As long as her new kidney continues to work, she’s safe.”

It was the third attempt for the brave pair after little Charlie suffered a heart attack the first time in October last year.

Charles even had his kidney taken out and put back in before it was called off.

She had an infection just before the last one was due in January, and that was cancelled at the eleventh hour.

Charles said: “We finally got there in the end.

“It was painful and uncomfortable, but I’ve been through it before so I knew what to expect.”

Charlie has suffered two heart attacks and three strokes in her short life, one which left her blind in one eye, and she also has a leaking heart valve.

One of her main health concerns was her failing kidney though, and in December, the family were told that if Charlie didn’t get a new one soon, she could have just 18 months to live.

So Charles is thrilled the nine-hour operation was finally successful.

Sadly, Charlie is now suffering from breathing problems, and is in intensive care at the Manchester hospital.

Charles said: “Her condition isn’t too serious at the moment, and she’s getting stronger day by day, so we’re hoping she’ll be home soon.

“She’s alive and kicking, and she’ll keep fighting.”

Charles, who lives with his wife Agnes, is house-bound for three weeks whilst he recovers from the surgery, and is expected to be back to full health in around three months.

Charlie is now trying to raise £25,000 for the Wish Upon A Star foundation and the dialysis unit at Manchester Children’s Hospital.