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Waiting For Transplant
Diana Chandler

Jill Edwards
Heart Transplant 21st November 1990

Jill EwardsMy name is Jill Edwards. I have had my new heart for 10 years now and what a big difference it has made to my life. 

For many years before my transplant I suffered ill health.  My problem was hypertrophic over-enlarged cardiac muscle (known as hocum in the medical profession).  Even as a small child I always seemed to be short of breath, but that never stopped me playing netball, swimming and being very active.  Over the years the problem worsened to the point that even washing my mini seemed a major obstacle to overcome.  I became increasingly more out of breath, felt very nauseous and was constantly tired.  A pace maker was fitted with little effect.  It was suggested to me that my only chance would be a heart transplant.  I remember this day so well because a professor in the cardiology unit at The John Radcliffe hospital Oxford told me the news. When I returned to my car it had been clamped for illegally parking.  It is an uphill walk (which seemed like Mount Everest at the time) so I parked in the disabled slot!!  I clearly recall sitting outside looking at my clamped mini, thinking of the enormity of a transplant and thinking that the whole world hated me!! 

But that was then - I waited only 6 weeks for a heart to become available and was called to Harefield on 21 November 1990. The rest is history. I was given the excellent post operative care that Harefield Hospital is so famous for and after 6 weeks went home to Peter and we got married.  I had said that if I survived the transplant I would make this commitment and it is something that I have never regretted.  He is my solid rock which is what his name means!   

I have been secretary of the Hamsters club for the past 7 years. This is a wonderful club and we have met some absolutely magnificent friends with the Hamsters. We have attended the Transplant Games in various venues across the UK and been to The European Games to Finland, Switzerland, Germany and Norway.  It has been wonderful competing in badminton and swimming. I have been lucky to obtain some bronze, silver and a couple of gold medals.  I am absolutely thrilled to be selected to represent  

 Great Britain in 50m and 100m-breast stroke at The World Transplant Games in Japan August 2001.

My donor made this happiness possible for me. If anyone reading this has any reservations about carrying a Organ Donor Card let me reassure them that without someone being very unselfish 13 years ago I would not have had the 13 wonderful happy contented years that I have.  There are many more like me waiting. 

In conclusion, may I add that Harefield hospital is a haven for me to return to for my routine MOT (yearly check up).  I am known by my first name and checked through each department in a very efficient way.  The access to Harefield Hospital for me is one and a quarter hours by car and the car easily parked within the grounds at the hospital.

Jill Edwards

Jonathon Holmes
Heart Transplant Aug 2000
Jonathon Holmes
"All I can say is - just don't give up hope"

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