Three decades after the first transplant operation took place at University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust (UHSM), transplant recipients and their families came together to celebrate this special milestone.
A ‘Gift of Life’ service, held on Sunday 23 April at Manchester Cathedral, was attended by 60 recipients and 200 of their relatives and friends, as well as current and former staff from Wythenshawe Hospital’s Transplant Centre.
The oldest surviving recipient in attendance had a heart transplant 26 years ago and the most recent recipient received a lung transplant in December last year. The family of the first recipient David Ormiston, who received a heart transplant in 1987, were also present.
Moira Peters who received a heart and lung transplant 25 years ago said, “I would like to take this opportunity here on this special day, to give thanks for my gift of life. Nearly twenty five years ago I was given a very special gift. I was given my life back, I would like to say a big thank you to my donor, their family and the amazing team at the Transplant Centre for all they have done for me over the years and still continue to do. Saying thank you never seems enough.”
The service was led by Kate Le Sueur, UHSM Hospital Chaplain and organised by New Start, a charity set up to provide assistance to the heart and lung transplantation programme and future clinical developments in heart and lung surgery at Wythenshawe Hospital.
In the thirty years since the first transplant took place the unit has performed 1,200 transplants. It was very emotional to see some of our original surgeons who have now retired meeting up with patients whose lives they saved 20 plus years ago.
None of this would be possible without the donors and their families to whom all our recipients are forever grateful.
To see photos of the event please click HERE and go to the events section