A DOTING young mum has spoken of her near-death experience and how her family prepared to say their goodbyes after her body rejected a new heart.

Amy Ellis, from Allerton, said doctors had run out of options after she was placed on life support.

“The heart-breaking thing about it all is I didn’t even know I was knocking on death’s door - everything was blank,” she said.

The 19-year-old had to undergo the major heart transplant surgery to treat the same condition which has taken a devastating toll on her family over the years.

She has dilated cardiomyopathy - the condition many of her family also have - and has been on tablets for much of her life to keep it at bay.

It is a disease of the heart muscle, where it becomes stretched and thin. This means it is unable to pump blood around the body effectively.

Amy has now found the strength to speak about her latest ordeal. It began earlier this year while she was pregnant with her baby girl. At 32 weeks, she was told she would have to stay in hospital until her baby arrived as she was “very poorly” and would need a pacemaker.

Up to that point she had managed to live with her condition until she fell pregnant in December last year, which she described as “the best news in the world”.

She said: “I couldn’t wait to tell my boyfriend I was so happy, being a mum was all I wanted, everything was going great.”

While she was over the moon to be expecting, Amy said problems came when she could no longer take her heart tablets due to the risk of harm to her baby.

Being pregnant with her condition is “extremely risky” but Amy said she was not given any alternative and so went half her pregnancy without.

She said: “I ended up moving back to my nana’s in Bradford for my pregnancy where I got more pains in my chest, I didn’t feel right at all so I took myself to hospital not really thinking anything of it.

“I was there all day then it came to around six at night, they said I’d have to stay the night.

“That’s when I started panicking, I’d never stayed in a hospital for more than two hours let alone overnight so I knew something was wrong.”

The next morning, she was told she faced having a left ventricular assist device, a mechanical pump used in patients with heart failure, fitted because her heart was struggling.

Amy said things went downhill from there and she was transferred to Leeds General Infirmary where she was waiting for a caesarean section.

Her baby, Ivy, was due to be born at the end of July, but her date was moved forward to June 21 as her body would not have been able to cope with a full pregnancy - but even that was too late. On June 17, doctors told Amy she would be having her baby the next day.

She said: “They told me I had to have my baby the next day because my heart was not well at all and if I went any longer I wasn’t going to make it ,so the next day my beautiful little girl was born

“Two days later I had another operation to fit in my pacemaker, I was over the moon when I finally got home with my baby girl, I thought I was going to be okay.”

She fell seriously ill once again and was rushed to Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester, renowned for its cardiac centre, and told she urgently needed a new heart.

Amy found out in the early hours of one morning that a heart was ready.

She said: “That’s when my life changed forever I went under not knowing if I’d ever come back out.”

But she fell ill once again and her antibodies began attacking her heart, sending her into a very rare rejection and forcing her to be put on a life support machine for 14 days.

She said: “The doctors didn’t know what to do they had run out of options and everyone was brought to the hospital to say goodbye to me my daughter came to say goodbye to me, everyone I care about was outside that hospital that day.”

Against the odds, she fought back from the brink of death but still had a long way to go. Covered in wires and medical equipment and on lots of medication, she didn’t even recognise her fiance, Charlie.

Amy said: “It was all a massive blur, I had a balloon, I had drains in my belly, my arm pit.

“I had a tracheostomy, a central line, two cannulas, a PICC line. It was hard, I couldn’t move anything from head to toe, I couldn’t move anything at all.”

She is still in hospital, learning to walk again for the third time, but has vowed she will recover and get home to her family.

Amy said: “A lot of my determination has come from every single person and every angel watching over me and supporting me.I know there’s a lot of people following my story and supporting me through this horrible time, it’s been so hard but just knowing there is people I’ve never seen or spoke to in my whole life that have, and are still praying for me, is amazing and all the nurses, the physios, kitchen staff and cleaners who come to visit me nearly everyday, the doctors that saved my life I couldn’t have done it with all their support.”

But above all, she paid tribute to her family and their “amazing support”.

“ [They] supported me the whole way through this, haven’t doubted me once, always kept me strong, protected me from anything that could hurt me and I couldn’t be more grateful.”