'Come on Mandy, you can do it!' Hartlepool rallies behind it's very own 'bionic woman'

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Messages of love and support have flooded in for ‘Hartlepool’s very own bionic woman’ as she continues her health battle in hospital.

Mandy Andrews, 52, who had a heart and lung transplant in April 1986, is being treated for complications with her heart and kidney, and a serious lung infection.

She was originally in intensive care at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough but was transferred to the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle over the weekend.

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Her family called on the people of Hartlepool to send her positive messages of hope and Mail readers responded in style.

Mandy AndrewsMandy Andrews
Mandy Andrews

And every message had a common denominator. They all showed true love for the mum-of-one.

Just look at these amazing words from the people of Hartlepool.

* ‘You are a fighter. We are all behind you’ – Gina Costin.

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Mandy Andrews who is receiving treatment at the Freeman Hospital.Mandy Andrews who is receiving treatment at the Freeman Hospital.
Mandy Andrews who is receiving treatment at the Freeman Hospital.

* ‘Get well soon Hartlepool’s very own bionic woman. Come on Mandy you can get through this girl’ – Joyce Appleton.

* ‘Get well soon Mandy lovely lass with heart of gold xxx’ – Dawn Robinson.

* ‘I am thinking about you every day Mandy . I will pray for you every day xxxx’ – Mary Ann Cross.

* ‘Get well soon ! you can do it!! sending love and best wishes! xxx’ – Julie Dixon.

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Mandy Andrews and her son Harry.Mandy Andrews and her son Harry.
Mandy Andrews and her son Harry.

And that’s just a sample of the support for Mandy who, her family said, had defied the odds all her life.

Mandy’s goddaughter Sarah Lewis, 34, said: “The messages for Mandy will certainly make a difference.”

She said Mandy had already seen the Hartlepool Mail article asking for support and Mandy had rung Sarah to say she was ‘over the moon’ with it.

“She will get her energy back and she will keep on fighting,” said Sarah.

Mandy pictured in 1985.Mandy pictured in 1985.
Mandy pictured in 1985.

The Hartlepool Mail has followed her story since 1986.

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During her childhood, the former Thornhill School pupil found she could not climb stairs and was frequently out of breath, with even the smallest of tasks becoming an effort.

But hope was on the horizon when on April 13, 1986, seven months after her 18th birthday, she became the first person in the region to receive the life-saving gift of a new heart and lungs.

She had the six-hour operation at Harefield Hospital, in Middlesex, following an agonising six-month wait for a donor.

The Mail regularly charted her progress over the following years, with Mandy learning to drive and becoming a godmother and the Mail arranging for her to meet comedy duo Cannon and Ball at Middlesbrough Town Hall.

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But after three or four years, her condition deteriorated and she was fighting for breath again and became wheelchair bound.

The celebrations when Mandy reached the 25th anniversary of her heart and lung transplant.The celebrations when Mandy reached the 25th anniversary of her heart and lung transplant.
The celebrations when Mandy reached the 25th anniversary of her heart and lung transplant.

When medics found that a set of donor lungs were compatible, it is thought Mandy became the first patient to have undergone the procedure following the previous transplant. The Mail reported at the time that Mandy's first words were "I've woken up", as throughout all the trauma of her surgery, her greatest fear had been that she would never wake up.

On her 30th birthday, on September 9, 1997, she was given the best present she could ask for when doctors at Newcastle's Freemans Hospital told her she was making excellent progress.

Since then, she has had a new kidney in 2011.


* ‘Sending you hugs and best wishes Mandy,x’ – Pat Young.

* ‘Get well soon Mandy after all you have been through’ – Lynn Easson.

* ‘Thoughts n prayers Mandy X’ – Brenda Cook.

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* ‘Get Well Soon Mandy, everybody wishing you Speedy recovery. Love and hugs. X’ – Ann Cooke.

* ‘Get well soon lovely’ – Victoria Louise Sedgwick.

* ‘Get well soon Mandy you can do this xx’ – Linda Butterfield.

Keep sending your messages to the Hartlepool Mail’s Facebook page.

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