Patient Stories

In this part of the website we have various heart and lung recipients sharing their stories about their journey to, through and beyond a life saving transplant. The stories on this website are expressed in the words of the actual recipients. They have written all the content themselves.

All the content and photographs have been given to the Clinic by the recipients.

Their tales are designed to be uplifting – to reassure the reader that medical life-saving miracles are achieved in the NHS thanks to transplantation procedures. Recipients for heart and/or lung transplants follow similar, though never identical journeys to the point in their life when they must have a life saving organ transplant. For this to occur patients will have been told by a cardiologist or lung consultant that they are in imminent risk of dying, with a greater than 50% chance that they will not survive the next 12 months.

For some patients the decision to have a transplant comes as a huge relief. Lung patients that have had to survive ‘married’ to an oxygen bottle for most of their lives possibly greet the prospect of a transplant with fear, but also with hope and relief. They can perhaps envisage a life with new lungs that enable them to walk up hills for the first time in their lives without going blue.

In contrast, a young person suddenly struck by a virus that virtually destroys their heart over a couple of days will enter the transplant process bemused and probably very angry indeed. “Why me” becomes a very difficult question for them to confront.

Most recipients fall somewhere between these two extremes. In some cases a series of heart attacks may lead to a gradual deterioration in the heart’s function ultimately leading to a transplant. Similarly lung failure may occur slowly over a period of years.

Take a look at these patient stories and learn how transplants save lives and change lives.