Five years ago Gabrysia Filarowski was close to death as she waited for a heart transplant.

But today the Horsforth youngster is full of energy as she celebrates the fifth anniversary of the operation which gave her life.

Gabrysia, now six, owes her survival to the skill of medics at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle and to the bravery of the donor family whose own child had died.

The Filarowski family are eternally grateful for the chance which has been given to Gabrysia through the 'miracle' of transplantation.

As they marked the fifth anniversary this week Gabrysia's mum Angela urged others to join the organ donor register.

She said: "She continues to do extremely well - medically she is 'tip-top' with all recent checks showing things to be really great. She is full of energy - always on the go! Dancing in festivals - taking exams, and doing really well at it all.

"Its incredible that we are five years down the line and Gabrysia has reached this amazing milestone. When she was transplanted we were told a new heart will hopefully last five to ten years so we are delighted to have had this extra special time with her and clearly we hope and pray that it continues for many years to come. Obviously we don't know how long we have with her but we continue to live life to the full doing everything we can to live as normal and fulfilled life as we possibly can."

Gabrysia’s family have raised thousands of pounds for the Children’s Heart Unit Fund, which raises money for equipment, facilities, aftercare and research for the Children’s Heart Unit and the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Freeman Hospital.