A grateful mum’s fundraising has reached new heights after taking on a 167ft abseil and raising more than £4,020 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, following her baby daughter’s life-saving liver transplant.

Samara Hogan, from Craigavon in Northern Ireland, took the plunge from the top of the Europa Hotel in Belfast, as her way of saying thank you to the doctors who gave her daughter, Indie, a second chance at life when she was just 19-days-old.

Indie had been in the world for less than 12 days when Samara noticed she was vomiting after her feeds more often, and seemed jaundiced. At first, their local doctor put it down to reflux, but when a blood test revealed high levels of certain enzyme and proteins in Indie’s blood that suggested her liver wasn’t working as it should, they immediately arranged for her to be transferred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, the UK’s premier paediatric liver unit.

With another little one at home, Samara and her husband Ciaran scrambled to pack and make arrangements, with Ciaran travelling with Indie, and Samara following the next day.

When the family arrived at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Indie was quickly diagnosed with acute liver failure and immediately put onto the emergency transplant list. Her liver wasn’t filtering her blood as it should and without a new one, she wouldn’t survive.

It was a torturous wait, but thankfully, just one week later, a new liver became available and Indie underwent a seven-hour transplant operation. Emotionally exhausted from it all, Samara and Ciaran fell asleep whilst waiting for Indie to come out and when they woke, relief washed over them as they were told the operation had been a success and that Indie was in recovery.

Indie spent five weeks in Birmingham before she was transferred back to a hospital in Belfast for another four weeks. While Indie’s recovery hasn’t been plain sailing, with two trips back to Birmingham for treatment when her body began rejecting her new liver, now at 18-months-old, Indie is thriving and keeping her thankful parents on their toes.


Samara said: “Without Birmingham Children’s Hospital our little girl might not be here and we’re thankful every day for everything they did for us during that scary time. Indie has regular check-ups and monitoring at the hospital and we always know we’re in good hands.


“I wanted to do something that would push me out of my comfort zone – something worthy of asking people to sponsor me for – and after a quick search I found the abseil. It was absolutely terrifying but I’m so glad I did it and so proud to have raised so much to give back to the hospital that saved Indie’s life.”


Miranda Williams, Head of Public Fundraising at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “Having a child in hospital is tough enough without that hospital being in another country! However, our specialist liver unit was the best place for her and we’re so glad to hear that Indie is doing well.


“We’re thankful to Samara for channeling all of her emotions from that distressing time into this challenge. The incredible amount she’s raised by taking on the abseil will go towards helping us support other sick kids, just like Indie, and their families.”