Natasha’s Challenge

Hi, my name is Natasha Kavanagh I live in Liverpool and I had a Heart Transplant 25 years ago aged 22. My story is a bit unusual as my donor ‘Andrew’ from Cork in Ireland is still alive thanks to his own Heart and Lung Transplant! We had what is called a ‘domino’ transplant. Andrew has cystic fibrosis and his heart had always worked hard to look after his lungs; in-turn my lungs had always worked hard to compensate for my weak heart, so as a match we were good. On the day it happened a lady sadly passed away and it was her family’s decision to donate her heart and lungs, which Andrew received successfully and I got Andrew’s heart! This is a story we have kept quiet for so long but decided to celebrate the 25 years and perhaps help others.

My life has been so successful following the Heart Transplant and I am enormously grateful to the NHS, so many hospitals have been involved with my care, all the staff who looked after me from when I was a baby having had 4 major heart operations ages: 2, 7, 12 (which included a stay in hospital for a whole year) and 18 including other operations that came with their own complications of being a sick child and then came my transplant at the age of 22.

I would like your help in raising money for the Transplant Hospitals I have been directly involved in, they are Harefield Hospital where I had my Heart Transplant in 1999 and where I also met Andrew as we both recovered there and Wythenshawe Hospital where I have been followed up since 2007. By highlighting the many mile stones and raising money I hope to raise awareness for future recipients as well as the enormity of gratitude to the donors and their families. It is because of Andrew and his decision to donate his heart I was able to complete my degree, do a PGCE, complete my Master’s Degree, teach for 22 years, back-pack numerous continents and most importantly I have a beautiful daughter who is now 14. I had her 10 years post-transplant and she is very healthy despite needing to come 6 weeks early to help me! But she is now along with my husband and friends going to help me get up the mountains to celebrate this momentous mile stone! My Challenge: To climb the three peaks in the UK. Scafell Pike 3rd April, Snowdonia 11th April and Ben Nevis 1st June. 100% money raised will go to the two chosen hospitals.

Living with the long-term side effects of my previous Heart surgeries of which I have chronic kidney disease and chronic liver disease, mean I am still under hospital care, mix this with the transplant immunosuppressants I have to take can come with complications at times. So, to say I can still do challenges after 25years (with a lot of rest in between) I hope you will help me raise the money to say THANK YOU to the transplant hospitals directly involved with my recovery. I had my heart transplant at Harefield in 1999 and was only given 5 years post-transplant to live, yet I am in a position to celebrate 25 years this year. Both hospitals continue to provide care and develop the work of transplants and transplant care and aid so many others like myself, I really am grateful for their expertise and care, and want to give them hope that the lives they change are fully fulfilled. Please see the link to the charities and help if you can – I am aiming to keep the funds equal to both charities. THANK YOU for your time.

TO sponsor Tash please click HERE

Peak 1 done in Horrendous Weather

the Transplant unit Wythenshawe Hospital Southmoor Rd Manchester M23 9LT