Friday, November 11, 2011

Heart/lung patient was UK's longest surviving transplant at 26 years

TRIBUTES are being paid to a Chepstow woman who was one of the UK's longest surviving heart-lung transplant patients.

True fighter: Julie Bennett

By Lisa Hind FreePress

Julie Bennett, 46, of Burnt Barn Road, Bulwark, died at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, last Monday from heart failure and pneumonia.

Described as a "true fighter" by her family, Miss Bennett had survived 26 years as a heart-lung transplant patient and also recently battled a cancer diagnosis.

Speaking last week, her brother Paul said: "She went through a lot but she was a true fighter and didn't let it get in her way."

Miss Bennett underwent a heart-lung transplant at Papworth Hospital near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, on October 10, 1985. At the time it was her only chance of survival.

Doctors said Miss Bennett was the seventh heart-lung transplant recipient and the first person with cystic fibrosis to receive the operation at Papworth.

Last year, the Free Press reported how she marked the 25th anniversary of the transplant by returning to meet staff at the hospital including her surgeon, John Wallwork.

But three months ago, Miss Bennett was diagnosed with cancer of the cheek, jaw and neck.

She had just finished six weeks of radiotherapy treatment at Velindre Hospital when she became ill with pneumonia and was taken to the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff. She died the next day.

Mr Bennett said: "It took its toll on her organs and it was just one illness too many."

Miss Bennett died with Mr Bennett and their mum Joan at her side. Mr Bennett said: "She was an inspiration to us. If anyone met her they would feel pretty ordinary. She just got on with her life despite everything and she loved her family."

The funeral of Miss Bennett took place on November 8 at St Christopher's Church, Bulwark, it was followed by a cremation at the Forest of Dean Crematorium.

“You Have the Power to Donate Life – to become an organ and tissue donor Sign-up today!
Tell Your Loved Ones of Your Decision”
Australia, register at Australian Organ Donor Register
New Zealand, register at Organ Donation New Zealand
South Africa,
United States,
United Kingdom, register at NHS Organ Donor Register
Your generosity can save or enhance the lives of up to fifty people with heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas and small intestine transplants (see allotransplantation). One tissue donor can help 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: