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Dr. Christiaan N. Barnard
Sir Prof Magdi Yacoub

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obert Tools

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Adults
Post Op Diary
Louis Washkansky
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Delia
Mike Doyle
Gay Eberhart
Jill Edwards
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John Fisher
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Heart and Lung
Diana Chandler
John Rueben
Peta Capello

Domino Transplants
Peter Allinson
Shonqueela Mallory
Andrew Wilson

Lvad's
Jonathon Holmes

Carers Story
Helen Nutman
Sandra Taylor

Waiting For Transplant
Diana Chandler


 

 


Mike Doyle
Heart Transplant April 1989
doyly3@waitrose.com
________

Mike Doyle I was a very fit 50 year old. I drank in moderation; I had no family history of heart problems. When I experienced chest pains playing club level squash I dismissed them as symptoms of a chest cold. I went to GP only when I felt similar pains while walking up gentle slopes.

"Come off it, Doctor, there's nothing wrong with my heart".

How I was to rue those words 18 months later, when I was in intensive care in the Brompton hospital after two heart attacks followed by trials on various drugs. Those heart attacks, incidentally, had occurred with exquisite timing: the first before reporting to Harley street for a by-pass operation, the second on Christmas Eve! So now here I was in Brompton. I lay in a daze of heavy sedation. I was attached to machinery and tubes which were breathing for me, feeding me and pumping my heart. After some days a tall elegant man introduced himself to me in a quiet distinguished voice:

"Hello, Mr. Doyle, my name is Professor Yacoub. You are very ill, but I am going to make you better with a heart transplant".

Tubes in my throat prevented me from replying, but on my note pad I wrote  "Thank you, Sir", As he walked away I remember thinking "Did he say transplant? My God, I shall be famous if I survive" I did not realize that by then, in 1989, so many transplants had already been carried out at Harefield, were I was eventually transferred. I was destined to become number 907.

Obviously a suitable donor heart was needed. After two false alarms - which my family knew about but I didn't I remember a doctor approaching my bed and saying:

"The good is that we have a suitable donor for you. The bad news is that we have to get you and all your machinery to Harefield very quickly"

My transplant was performed at Harefield in April 1989. Without it I would certainly have died within weeks.

Since Christian Bernard first achieved a transplant in 1967 and when the early treatments entailed months in isolation tents, intensive after care had come a long way. Highly sophisticated drugs and care were by now contributing to quick recovery. I was on to an exercise bike within 10 days of my operation and discharged from Harefield in mid May.

Frequent Harefield visits followed for many months afterwards. Nevertheless I won the Stableford competition at Wentworth in October of that year and was back at work by late November.

Well over 2000 transplants have been carried out at Harefield alone and the longest survivor has already passed his Twentieth anniversary!

My own life now has added dimension through voluntary work at Harefield and involvement with the Hamsters. (Harefield transplant club)

Every year, at different venues, we have The British Transplant Games, for those who have had some sort of transplant and every two years the European Games are held for heart and heart/lung transplants only. This is marvelous opportunity for traveling and meeting people.

I have competed in Finland (1994) Switzerland (1996) and Germany (1998) winning medals for tennis (silver), golf (two gold's) and swimming (bronze). Highly impressive, you may think, but we are divided into age groups, so I am not competing against 20 year olds. Golf, though, is not segregated by age! Incidentally, a heart recipient recently played in a USPGA Tour Event - and made the cut!

I have particularly fond memories of the Swiss Games, with their beautiful setting in Lausanne. Perhaps the very moving displays of Olympic history we saw in the IOC museum steered my thoughts to real meaning of sport and comradeship as I watched fellow transplants in our Games competing and giving of their best. Many of them in earlier years could not even walk up their stairs.

This year I hope to compete in the Games being held in Norway at the end of June.

I lead a full life, much of it is due to the love and devotion of my wife and family. The world of hospitals, intensive care, high anxiety and suffering, seem a long way away and a world apart, and it is impossible to convey to those who have never experienced it.

I often recall the words I heard a nurse during my recovery:

"For those who fight for it, life has a flavour the sheltered never know"

Mike Doyle


Jill Edwards
Heart Transplant Nov 1990

Jill Edwards

"After my heart transplant I went home and married my beloved Peter"

 

 

 


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