Look Beyond The Heart was the charity started by much-loved Bexhill woman Nicola Langlands who was Britain’s longest heart-lung transplant survivor before she died in December.
Nicola was born in 1976 with half a heart and not expected to live, but she battled against the odds to prove predictions wrong, and that fighting spirit never deserted her.
At the age of 13 she was given a new heart and lung, went on to lead an “amazing fulfilled” life of fundraising and raising awareness, and also had a daughter, Megan, which she thought of as her “real blessing.”
Now her family is carrying on the work she started with Look Beyond the Heart which they describe as her “huge legacy.”
Sister Jessica told the Observer of upcoming plans and said: “We have recently registered the charity and finally have a charity number. This was the main goal my sister was trying to achieve from the start.
Now we have raised enough money to really start making a difference to people’s lives. We have already had a boot-sale fundraiser where we were able to raise £500. We attended the Pevensey Bay boot sale where thankfully the organisers assisted us with a free plot. The turn-out was amazing.
We will be attending the Transplant games in Manchester on August 10 in order to start getting referrals so we can help with aftercare.
My sister’s main aims were to provide counselling support and funding to transplant patients once they have undergone surgery.
Our main event for the year is going to be a talent contest held at the Hippodrome Theatre in Eastbourne. This will be called Alfie’s Star Quest based on the mascot of the charity Alfie Aftercare Bear.
The ventriloquist Steve Hewlett will be presenting this show as he is the Trustee for the charity. Auditions for this show will be held on the 19th October where the finalists who are successful will perform at the hippodrom on the 25th October.
Anyone wanting to apply or wanting further information should email Lookbeyondtheheart@gmail.com
Possibly in the pipeline will be a bingo/quiz night as they were my sister’s favourite hobbies.
We have also had contact with the Harefield hospital where we are trying to facilitate support to recent patients of transplants.”