A SIX-year-old girl, who received a donated kidney from her grandma, has undergone her 39th operation which could allow her to swim for the first time.

Brave youngster Ella Chadwick received a kidney from her 59-year-old grandma Christina Chadwick three weeks ago after she was found to be a match.

Yesterday she had an operation to remove a central line to the main artery in her heart at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.

Ella, from Rossendale, has battled congenital nephrotic syndrome since she was a baby, caused by an inherited faulty gene which causes large amounts of protein to leak into her urine.

Both Ella and her grandma made good progress following the operation earlier this month.

Ella’s mum Karen Hughes, 32, said: "She’s had a central line since she was 18 weeks old, which has meant she could never be submerged in water.

“Now she’ll be able to go for her first bath, and go swimming for the first time.

“I’m quite excited, but a first I was worried about it being taken out, because it’s like a security blanket.

“But she shouldn’t need it now after the transplant.”

Miss Hughes, of Tonnacliffe Way, Whitworth, said Ella had contracted new onset diabetes after transplant.

Miss Hughes, who is a full-time carer for Ella, said: “Sometimes it can last a month, but there’s some who have it for life.

“I have to live day by day, because I never know what might happen, everything can change from moment to moment. Ella’s not been able to eat much for a really long time, and diabetes will mean she still won’t be able to.

“But when she woke up from the operation, she’s so used to the anaesthetics, she was asking the nurses for Coco Pops.”

Ella is now receiving 12 injections a day, including ones to check her blood levels before she eats, though the family has also had encouraging news.

The family is waiting for confirmation that Ella might be moved closer to home, to Manchester Children’s Hospital, next week.