HUNDREDS of pupils have put their weight behind raising more than £20,000 in memory of a former school pupil who kept her heart in a backpack.

Figures have now been totted up following Rye St Antony School's 15km walk through Oxford in memory of Rebecca Henderson.

The 'inspirational' 24 year old died after complications following a heart transplant in February.

In the year leading up to this Miss Henderson, who attended sixth form at the Headington school, had an artificial heart which she was forced to carrier around in a back pack.

It was Miss Henderson's 'indefatigable energy' and dedication to raising funds for charity throughout her own battle which prompted pupils at Rye St Antony to muddle on in her memory.

ALSO READ: Oxford University student Rebecca Henderson just one of two people to have heart removed

Schoolchildren have been hosting events at the school and various fundraisers to collect money including a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, Mocktails on the Lawn, art auction, and silent auction.

This culminated in 300 pupils, alongside Miss Henderson's mum Linda, walking 15km from Headington to Beckley and back on June 26.

Funds have since been flooding in for the cause and schoolchildren have so far helped raise more than £24,584.

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The original fundraising target hoped to pull in £15,000 in sponsorship and collections, then match-funding from local groups and businesses to make it up to £30,000.

The total amount is how much it would cost recipients Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity to buy an Organ Care System kit.

Miss Henderson from Bicester, had her entire heart removed after doctors found a cancerous tumour ‘the size of a large egg’ in 2017.

The only way to save her life was to replace her heart with a 7kg Total Artificial Heart (TAH) which she carried with her in a rucksack.

ALSO READ: Rebecca Henderson who kept heart in a rucksack inspires appeal

This was a temporary fix until she was able to have a heart transplant earlier this year.

The machine which Rye St Antony School has fundraised for would support the transport of ‘live’ donor organs as opposed to keeping them on ice.

Harefield Hospital has two of the Organ Care Systems allowing organs to last up to 12 hours in transportation, rather than the previous three hours.

Deputy head Joanne Croft said “Becca demonstrated a true passion for life and throughout her illness she fought hard to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation. It has been fantastic to see the pupils successfully finish the walk and raise so much money for the charity.”

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