July 29, 2017

Positivity: Heart-lung patient to meet transplant surgeon who saved her life 30 years ago

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From York, UK:

27 July 2017 at 5:02pm

A woman whose heart and lungs were replaced in a life-saving transplant operation will celebrate the 30th anniversary of her surgery by reuniting with the doctor who transformed her life.

Carol Town, 63, had hoped the operation at Papworth Hospital, Cambridgeshire, would give her four extra years of life – which “felt like a long time”.

Living life to the full 30 years later is something she did not think was possible, and has allowed her to have a son and watch him grow up, build a career and enjoy new sports such as horse-riding.

Born in Upminster, Essex, in 1954 and now living in York, Mrs Town will meet her surgeon, Professor John Wallwork, now chairman of Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, at a celebratory reception at Pembroke College, Cambridge, on Thursday.

Mrs Town was diagnosed with the rare condition Eisenmenger’s syndrome, which leads to irreversible lung damage, at the age of five.

At the time, there was nothing that could be done to treat the disease and most patients died before they reached 30.

Mrs Town spent her childhood in and out of hospital, suffering extreme breathlessness, heart failure and later asthma.

Her health continued to deteriorate and she was told that her only hope for survival would be the development of a technique for heart-lung transplantation.

She was referred to Papworth and while she waited 18 months for organs to become available, she was not able to travel further than two hours from there.

Mrs Town was on the way home from work when she got a message from Papworth to say suitable organs had been identified for her transplant in July 1987.

Her surgery was a success and she was discharged in time for her fourth wedding anniversary in August 1987.

The treatment gave her a new lease of life and she quickly learned to run, swim, cycle and ride horses for the first time. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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