A KIDDERMINSTER mum whose family has been devastated by heart disease has become a figurehead for the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) Christmas fund-raising drive.

Donna Davidson, 25, of Harold Evers Way, has had two heart transplants and is still grieving for her 19-year-old brother, who died of heart trouble last year.

She is also looking after her six-year-old daughter, Leonie-Olivia, who has been diagnosed with the same condition Donna and Leonie-Olivia’s late uncle, James Ridewood, shared – dilated cardiomyopathy, a potentially fatal weakening of the heart muscle.

The Shuttle/Times & News featured Miss Davidson in 2002 when Leonie-Olivia was born and again in May this year, when she talked about her family’s medical history.

MIss Davidson explained she had agreed to help the BHF because of the help it had given her family and added: “If there is anything I can do to help I will.”

She said: “It is important the general public realise that heart disease can affect young people as well as older people.

“The future for both me and my child is uncertain, as cardiomyopathy is a very complex condition and the severity of our symptoms can vary greatly.

“It is likely that one day she will also need a transplant but, for now, we try to take each day as it comes.”

She added: “While Christmas is very poignant for our family, as we all miss my brother terribly, it is also a precious time, as we are grateful I am still here.

“That is why it is vital that people support the life-saving work of the BHF this Christmas, as their pioneering research work played a huge part in saving my life.”

Sian Syddall, fund-raising volunteer manager for the BHF said: “While most of us are having fun and celebrating this Christmas, remember that not everyone is so lucky.”

You can support the BHF this Christmas by giving a donation instead of a gift, organising a fund-raising event – such as a Santa jog, raffle or collection at work or signing up as a BHF volunteer.

For further information about supporting the BHF, call 01905 797807.