Tuesday, June 08, 2010

One of the longest-surviving heart transplant patients dies aged 74

It's sad to learn of this British heart recipient's passing but as his wife said: “It was marvellous to have gone nearly 23 years – people’s life span after a transplant is normally 10 years.”

Salisbury Journal

A SALISBURY man who was one of the longest surviving heart transplant patients has died aged 74.

John Weeks had surgery to get a new heart on New Year’s Eve 1987 and featured in the Journal at the time.

He was again in the Journal in January 2008, when his donated heart was still going strong after 20 years, despite being told at the time to expect to live only five years.

He died on May 29 this year, from several illnesses related to the transplant.

His wife Ellen said: “It was marvellous to have gone nearly 23 years – people’s life span after a transplant is normally 10 years.”

Mr Weeks was born and grew up in Salisbury and worked as a loading manager at an abattoir in Churchfields for ten years. He was forced to stop working in 1987 and was on a waiting list at Southampton General Hospital for five months before a donor heart was found in Germany and flown over.

Mrs Weeks said for the first 12 years after the transplant her husband coped well and they could go on holidays and he could drive. After that he gradually started finding it more difficult to do things and the last few years had been very difficult, but he still enjoyed spending time with his family.

She said: “John was a jolly, natural and happy-go-lucky man. He got on well with everybody and was a real family man, he absolutely adored seeing his great-grandchildren.”

The couple had three children, but unfortunately their son Andrew died 18 years ago. Mr Weeks is survived by his two daughters Marilyn and Dianne, his two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

His funeral will be at Salisbury Crematorium next Monday, June 14th at 2.15pm.

“You Have the Power to Save Lives – Register to be an organ and tissue donor & Tell Your Loved Ones of Your Decision”
Register to be a donor in Ontario or Download Donor Cards from Trillium Gift of Life Network. NEW for Ontario: recycleMe.org - Learn The Ins & Outs Of Organ And Tissue Donation. Register Today! For other Canadian provinces click here
In the United States, be sure to find out how to register in your state at ShareYourLife.org or Download Donor Cards from OrganDonor.Gov
In Great Britain, register at NHS Organ Donor Register
In Australia, register at Australian Organ Donor Register
Your generosity can save up to eight lives with heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas and small intestine transplants (see allotransplantation). One tissue donor can help 75 to 100 other people by donating skin, corneas, bone, tendon, ligaments and heart valves

Has your life been saved by an organ transplant? "Pay it forward" and help spread the word about the need for organ donation - In the U.S. another person is added to the national transplant waiting list every 11 minutes and 18 people die each day waiting for an organ or tissue transplant. Organs can save lives, corneas renew vision, and tissue may help to restore someone's ability to walk, run or move freely without pain. Life Begins with You

No comments: