Leonnee stronger than ever after transplant

TAMWORTH woman Leonnee Pinchen-Martin's life was saved by a stranger and their family.

Miss Pinchen-Martin received a new heart last April after being diagnosed with peripartum cardiomyopathy in 2011, when just 21 years old and 37 weeks' pregnant with son Levi.

The condition brought her within days of death.

While a heart pump prolonged her life, simple activities, such as standing up while showering and picking up her little boy, remained out of reach in the months before the transplant.

But upon receiving her new heart, Miss Pinchen-Martin said she felt better straight away and became much more positive about life.

"I can do all the things people do every day but take for granted," including driving, seeing friends and taking care of Levi, she said.

She now feels "100 per cent" and is even establishing her own advertising agency.

She and her mother, Kath Martin, remain extremely grateful to the anonymous donor.

"If you do donate, you are literally giving people their lives back," Miss Pinchen-Martin said.

Her new heart came five months after going on the waiting list.

"I'm really lucky, because a lot of people wait a really long time and some don't make it," she said.

Her fiance, Joe Stolker, has to undergo dialysis and will need a kidney transplant himself in the future.

Family and friends have ensured they are registered as organ donors, all too aware of the difference it could make since Miss Pinchen-Martin's ordeal.

"Levi has his mum, which is the best thing out of it all," she said.

"And I still have my baby."

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