Community Heroes: Joanna and Jagan CraneOUR Community Heroes for the home fixture with Stoke City this Saturday are 13-year-old Joanna Crane and her brother Jagan.
In June, Joanna was diagnosed with a serious heart condition, which rapidly deteriorated in July, making it difficult for her to even walk up the stairs.
Joanna was taken into the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital for a week, before being transferred to Great Ormond Street for immediate open-heart surgery.
The surgery became very complex and took over six hours to complete.
Joanna spent three days in intensive care and transferred to the cardiac ward for a further week.
Mum Sharn paid tribute to the incredible work of the National Health Service:
“From the initial appointment at Blofield Surgery, to the medical and support staff at both NNUH and Great Ormond Street, the co-ordination and level of care has been absolutely extraordinary; the work of the cardiology and surgical team is miraculous," she said.
“This is the start of a long journey for her and more intervention will be needed, but it is a massive step forward for which we feel very blessed.”
As a young girl who loves sport, the diagnosis came out of the blue for Joanna, who played football with the Norwich City Girls’ Elite group, achieved a black belt for karate, and represents Norfolk at badminton.
It came as a shock too for brother Jagan, who decided he wanted to do something to show support for his younger sister.
A keen sportsmen himself, Jagan will take on the Community Sports Foundation’s Run Norwich 10K next week to raise funds for Great Ormond Street.
Jagan and Joanna, who are both huge Canary fans, will bring out the match ball on Saturday, after Joanna has enjoyed lunch with Chief Executive David McNally in the Directors’ Lounge.