To Transplant and Beyond
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To Transplant and Beyond
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Links to Heart Related
The author of this book Titania Hardie contacted me via email a couple of years a go with questions about transplantation for a character she was going to write about in a novel, I answered her questions as best I could and didn't really think much more about it. Well you know the way life is, especially for us recipients you need to look forward not back.
Well as you can see she finished the book and published it, sending me a copy with an very nice acknowledgement in the authors notes.
I have now finished reading it and as promised I am now going to write a short review of what I thought.
The Rose Labyrinth
1. Without a doubt it is the best presented paper back I have ever seen, it comes with a removable hard cover that includes notes etc that are connected to the story line
2. The story is superb with a fantastic twist at the end I never saw coming.
3. This is where I think I learned something, although the story is very good, it is really a tool for you as a reader to learn about the characters. Titania has written this novel in such a way I now feel as if I actually know each character personally and what they would or would not do in a situation, to the point where at times during the book I almost knew what was going to happen next as I knew what the characters reaction would be to thing that had happen.
4. Well here I can either spoil the book for you or suggest you purchase it.
May I suggest you get a copy
It is worth every penny - Titania really did her homework for this novel and I am looking forward to reading her next one.
The Rose Labyrinth
"It doesn't really matter when we die, how we die or why we die.
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To Transplant and Beyond
Many Thanks for your support
Mum and Dad were watching TV when Mum said, "I'm tired, and it's
She picked up the game pieces left on the table, put the phone
She stopped by the desk and wrote a note to the teacher, counted
She signed a birthday card for a friend, addressed and stamped
Dad called out, "I thought you were going to bed.""I'm on my
She put some water into the dog's dish and put the cat outside,
In her own room, she set the alarm; laid out clothing for the
About that time, Dad turned off the TV and announced to no one
Anything extraordinary here? Wonder why women live longer...?
'CAUSE WE ARE MADE FOR THE LONG HAUL...... (and we can't die
Have a good joke?
7th May 2015
This year I decided to take it fairly easy and save myself from a couple of weeks of really sore legs, as I have to continue training for the my climb in Ecuador of Cotopaxi (less than 50dyas from now). Yes, I have already entered the ballot for London Marathon 2016, although I haven't ever managed to get a ballot place before.
Massive Thank you to everyone that sponsored me for this years marathon and I am pleased to say we managed to raise the pledge I made to the BHF for my place..
2nd March 2015
13th Feb 2015
Our dear friends at BHF also helped promote this campaign on their website and social media.
If you havent yet seen this campaign here are some links
30th Oct 2014
Please Email me if you would like one or more of these places
14th May 2014
13th May 2014
4th May 2014
We have 1 Charity Place left in
We are asking for a £50.00 Registration Fee
17th March 2014
14th March 2014
Then in 4 weeks time I run the London Marathon which will be my 26th Marathon since heart transplant. Exercise post transplant will make you feel better and improve you health.
10th March 2014
5th March 2014
Oli is the former British Strongest Man and UFC Mixed Martial Art fighter, now fighting for Bamma
3rd March 2014
3rd March 2014
27th January 2014
Another fellow Harefield Hospital heart transplant recipient makes it to 30years post heart transplant.
When Steve Syer had a pioneering heart transplant in 1984, it was a last ditch attempt to save his life.
The retired engineer from Cheltenham was told he had 12 hours before his heart would give out and that a transplant was his only chance of survival.
The transplant took place at Harefield Hospital in Middlesex and was the 87th to be performed by world-famous surgeon Sir Magdi Yacoub.
Steve was struck down by a mystery virus at the age of 41 which affected the muscles of his heart and set in motion the organ’s rapid failure.
Although he still has to take anti-rejection medication, Steve, now 71, is fighting fit and has led an active life since his transplant.
“They said if I survived a year it would be good. If I survived five years, it would be a miracle,” said the dad-of-two, who now lives in Brockworth.
Steve said neither he nor wife Christine, now 69, panicked when he was told the seriousness of his condition 30 years ago.
“When I was told I needed a transplant I had no doubt that it wouldn’t work,” he said.
“I had faith that it would be OK.
“I said ‘well I haven’t much option, have I’? Once I had the transplant, I felt better within days.
“I felt someone had given me the chance to life and it was my heart now, and I was going to do all I could to look after it.”
The retired reliability engineer at Rank Xerox began jogging up to 20 miles a week, and even took part in biathlon events for charity.
Christine said: “I don’t think we even thought about the consequences. It was do or die.
“I remember the change in him when I first saw him [after the operation] - he was as white as a sheet.
“When I came back and saw him later all his colour was back and he was starving.”
“The adverts say no one can eat three Shredded Wheat, but he managed it.”
His son Tim and daughter Clare were just 17 and 15 at the time of the operation.
Clare, now 45 and living in Churchdown, said she was incredibly happy her father’s transplant had been a success.
“He’s been able to see my brother and I grow up and meet his grandchildren and great grandchildren,” she said.
Since he was given the gift of life, Steve and Christine have committed to raising as much money as possible for the British Heart Foundation, as a way of giving something back.
He is chairman for the Cheltenham branch of the charity.
In the past few years, Steve has been diagnosed with Becker's muscular dystrophy – which may have been responsible for the original failure of his heart.
Now a grandfather of six and great-grandfather of two, he said he will celebrate the 30th anniversary of his heart transplant by taking his family out to lunch.
15th January 2014
We have 5 Charity Places in
We are asking for a £50.00 Registration Fee
Please remember you can follow us on FaceBook
8th August 2013
12th July 2013
Please sponsor me
Thank you for your generous support
24th April 2013
51years old today, and to think that in July 2000 before transplant I wasn't expecting to see my 40th Birthday!
Sunday I also completed my 12th London Marathon since Heart Transplant and this summer I am planing on taking part in the Ride London 100mile event.
Transplants Save Lives
18th March 2013
I would like to introduce you to my Grandson Dante Fisher.
I had a heart transplant at the age of 38, and I was hoping to see my 40th Birthday and perhaps my 45th at best. Here I am now 50 and holding my Grandson.
Transplants truly do save lives!
I feel very blessed.
12th March 2013
I am also training for the Ride London 100, which is a 100mile cycle in London arranged by the Mayor and the London Marathon Organisers. This is going to be a real challenge for me as cycling is really my strong point, I am hoping the press and media will get behind this and help raise some more positive transplant and donor awareness.
10th December 2012
5th December 2012
I have also set up a twitter account
and a website
The first 3 interviews have been agreed and I am hoping to record them later this month with the idea of loading to the internet early January.
I am quite excited about this project and hope it will help raise alot of awareness.
20th September 2012
20th August 2012
The downside to this is a gain in weight! 88kg this morning!! So time to diet and train for another marathon - this time I will take part in the Berlin marathon on the 29th September 2012.
Hard to believe I am now 12 fantastic years post heart transplant and I am still able to run and complete a marathon.
I have seen my kids grow up, leave school, start college and I am now even a Grandfather! WOW!
This has all been made possible by organ transplant and the generous donation of my new heart from a young man called Steven Tibbey. Steven and his family are never far from my thoughts.
11th May 2012
10th May 2012
6th March 2012
Natasha Rogers (37) was on the transplant waiting list for 7½yrs before the long awaited call came that organs had become available and could be suitable for her. It was the start of her NEW LIFE and she has not looked back since that day on June 26th 2001.
Happy reading folks.
15th February 2012
2nd February 2012
31st January 2012
After lunch I saw the doctor for the results of my various tests, the only one that was of any concern was my cholesterol level which was 8.4. We decided not to add a statin drug to my collection of pills I already take, and that I would change to using Pro-Active spread on bread and add more oily fish to my diet.
My next main check-up is at the end of July, which will be my 12th year post heart transplant, I will repeat all the above tests and will also have to have an angiograph.
I am very pleased to say I have had some great feed back from this interview and managed to raise some superb transplant and donor awareness.
16th Nov 2011
Paul Flynn MP
10th Oct 2011
17th September 2011
Thank You James
2nd August 2011
Those applying for a licence online will be obliged to tick one of three boxes about the register as a condition of completing the form.
They can say they would like to sign up there and then, that they are already on the register or that they would like to think about it on another occasion.
A similar question existed previously but it was optional and many applicants missed or ignored it.
The change is the latest salvo in a long-running campaign by the Department of Health to increase the number of organ donors, which currently stands at about 18 million – 29% of the population.
While the numbers signing up has risen significantly in recent years, they are not keeping pace with an ever-increasing demand for transplants.
The previous Labour government considered the idea of presumed consent, in which people would have to actively opt out if they did not wish to donate organs after their death.
However, a consultation taskforce concluded in 2008 that it would be possible to instead significantly increase the rate of donation under existing laws.
Monday's change, involving licence applications in England, Scotland and Wales, is a key part of this, given that about half of the approximately 1m new names on the organ donation register every year currently come through driving licence applications.
The intention, said Chris Rudge, national clinical director for transplantation at the Department of Health, was to give people as many opportunities as possible to sign up.
"From various polls and surveys we know two things: one, virtually everybody in the country would accept an organ transplant if they needed one to save their own life; but we also know that a very large majority – probably of the order of 90% – are in favour of donating organs after death," he said.
"There's a variety of reasons why they don't put their name on the organ donor register, but by far the most common is they just don't get round to it."
If the change to the driving licence form brought in significantly more donors, similar questions could be added in the future to other official online forms, Rudge said.
"But I think we have to be a little bit cautious about not barraging people with this. If people are continually asked the same question, over and over again, you get irritated by it."
More than 7,500 people are awaiting an organ transplant and an average of three die every day, according to the NHS Blood and Transplant service.
7th July 2011
Surgeons in Sweden have carried out the world's first synthetic organ transplant.
Scientists in London created an artificial windpipe which was then coated in stem cells from the patient.
Crucially, the technique does not need a donor, and there is no risk of the organ being rejected. The surgeons stress a windpipe can also be made within days.
The 36-year-old cancer patient is doing well a month after the operation.
Professor Paolo Macchiarini from Spain led the pioneering surgery, which took place at the Karolinska University Hospital.
In an interview with the BBC, he said he now hopes to use the technique to treat a nine-month-old child in Korea who was born with a malformed windpipe or trachea.
Professor Macchiarini already has 10 other windpipe transplants under his belt - most notably the world's first tissue-engineered tracheal transplant in 2008 on 30-year-old Spanish woman Claudia Costillo - but all required a donor.Indistinguishable
The key to the latest technique is modelling a structure or scaffold that is an exact replica of the patient's own windpipe, removing the need for a donor organ.
To do this he enlisted the help of UK experts were given 3D scans of the 36-year-old African patient, Andemariam Teklesenbet Beyene. The geology student currently lives in Iceland where he is studying for a PhD.
Using these images, the scientists at University College London were able to craft a perfect copy of Mr Beyene's trachea and two main bronchi out of glass.
They then coated this was then flown to Sweden and soaked in a solution of stem cells taken from the patient's bone marrow.
After two days, the millions of holes in the porous windpipe had been seeded with the patient' own tissue.
Dr Alex Seifalian and his team used this fragile structure to create a replacement for the patient, whose own windpipe was ravaged by an inoperable tumour.
Despite aggressive chemotherapy and radiotherapy, the cancer had grown to the size of a golf ball and was blocking his breathing. Without a transplant he would have died.
During a 12-hour operation Professor Macchiarini removed all of the tumour and the diseased windpipe and replaced it with the tailor-made replica.
The bone marrow cells and lining cells taken from his nose, which were also implanted during the operation, are able to divide and grow, turning the inert windpipe scaffold into an organ indistinguishable from a normal healthy one.
And, importantly, Mr Beyene's body will accept it as its own, meaning he will not need to take the strong anti-rejection drugs that other transplant patients have to.
Professor Macchiarini said this was the real breakthrough.
"Thanks to nanotechnology, this new branch of regenerative medicine, we are now able to produce a custom-made windpipe within two days or one week.
"This is a synthetic windpipe. The beauty of this is you can have it immediately. There is no delay. This technique does not rely on a human donation."
He said many other organs could be repaired or replaced in the same way.
A month on from his operation, Mr Beyene is still looking weak, but well.
Sitting up in his hospital bed, he said: "I was very scared, very scared about the operation. But it was live or die."
He says he is looking forward to getting back to Iceland to finish his studies and then returning to his home in Eritrea where he will be reunited with his wife and young family, and meet his new three-month-old child.
He says he is eternally grateful to the medical team that has saved his life.
23rd June 2011
We can end lottery with opt-out organ donation
New figures from the NHS show a record number of people are now on the Organ Donor Register.
The NHS Blood and Transplant service says that 18 million people, close to 30 per cent of the UK’s population, have registered to donate after they die. The figures also showed widely varying donor registration rates in different parts of the UK, with Scotland leading the way on 37 per cent.
Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, said:
“These are very promising numbers which show we’re making progress towards finding more organs to help those who need them most. A donor heart is a gift of life for many people and can give precious years to someone who may otherwise have only weeks to live.
“But there are still more than 40 million people in the UK who aren’t on the register and disparities in donor numbers depending on where you live. We can end that lottery by introducing an opt-out organ donation system in which people would automatically be on the register unless they chose otherwise.”
22nd June 2011
NHS Organ Donor Register hits record 18 million
The number of people on the NHS Organ Donor Register has reached a record 18 million, according to figures released today by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT).
This means that in the UK as a whole, approaching 30% of people have registered their willingness to help others live in the event of their death.
All areas of the UK continue to show an increase in people signing up. Scotland leads the way, with more than 37% of the population now registered. The South-West of England isn’t far behind with 35% of people signing up.*
Sally Johnson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHSBT, explained: “At a staggering 18 million, there are now more people on the Organ Donor Register than ever, and this is a fantastic achievement.
“However, if we are to see that everyone in need of a transplant receives one, we need even more people to sign up. We would especially encourage more people from Black and Asian communities to join the register because patients from these communities wait on average three times longer for an organ.
“Getting people to sign up to the register is only half the battle. In order to see that their wishes are carried out in the event of their deaths, it is essential that those who want to become donors discuss donation with family and friends.”
During 2010, more than 1,000 people donated organs after death, allowing over 2,700 organ transplants to take place. However, with more than 10,000 people in need of a transplant and three people dying every day while waiting for an organ, NHSBT is urging more people to join the Organ Donor Register and make their family and friends aware of their wishes.
To add your name to the NHS Organ Donor Register, please ring 0300 123 23 23 or visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk. And remember to tell your family and friends.
National Transplant Week takes place between 4th-10th July with a theme of “What are you waiting for?” – for more information see http://www.transplantweek.co.uk/
31 May 2011
London Marathon 2012 - Place not yet confirmed
I am also looking into taking part in a long cycle ride around a lake in Europe. Still yet to learn how to say no!.
This summer I will be 11years post transplant and next April will be my 50th Birthday. Hard to believe as I never expected to reach my 40th.
Which goes to show that transplants save lives.
17th May 2011
16 May 2011
We are still in contact with the new Government and trying to get our message across about the Opt Out system for transplantation rather than the current Opt In - But in the mean while please encourage as many people as possible to join the Organ Donor Register - Transplants Save Lives..
11th May 2011
Well my answer has always been donate!
Did you know you are more likely to need a transplant than be an organ donor?
Donate and Raise Transplant Awareness and together we can lower the transplant waiting list.
24th April 2011
Guess the best way is to look after your gift and enjoy the extra time they have given you.
I met Derick Morris when I was just 10days post heart transplant and Derick was 20years - I asked Derick what the secret was to living long term post transplant.
He replied "Exercise to the extreme - No Stress - Take your drugs on time."
I was quite surprized at his answer so Derick went on to explain.
"Exercise" he said "isn't just walking to the corner shop to buy your newspaper, I used to cycle 15miles everyday in the Walsh hills."
So how do you stop stress I asked? Derick Replied "After a heart transplant there isn't much that will or can stress you if you just remind yourself what you have been through, bills, running late for an apointment etc seem petty after this."
"Drugs" he went on to say " If it is time to take your drugs and the phone rings, ignore it and take your drugs, or you may well end up chatting on the phone for an hour or the door bell rings while you are on the phone, the postman arrives and you open your letters, one thing leads to another and before you know it you have forgotten to take your drugs. Military Fashion - take your drugs on time - everytime..."
That advice from Derick has stayed with me ever since - Derick went on to live over 25years post transplant, I met him when he was 25 years and remember him saying he never for one second expected to out live his wife. Sadly Derick died shortly after our last meeting.
I would like to wish you all a Happy Easter
6th April 2011
I remember being told the the words Heart Transplant and Marathon don't belong in the same sentance - Now I have Heart Transplant, Lung CT Scan and Marathon all in the same sentance.
All I can say is that I feel fit and well, and hope that either I just had a cough or cold during last check up or that the lens on the machine was dusty.... No point worrying about something until there is perhaps something to worry about - it just gives you grey hair and sleepless nights.
Please also if you can sponsor me for the marathon as the charity really could do with the extra funding...
17th March 2011
December 1999 – I joined the organ donor register due to an illness when I was a baby that caused my heart to enlarge to almost the size of a football.
Please make a donation to “To Transplant & Beyond”
6th March 2011
Worshipful Brother Neil Goodhead. Electron Lodge 7527 and John Fisher at Camberley Heath Golf Club Charity Dinner
I would like to thank all the people that attended the event for their generosity and kind Support.
21st Feb 2011
Sadly my mother inlaw is still in hospital with Leukemia and having a second dose of Chemo today, she was allowed home for the weekend but had to go back today to start this second stage of treatment.
Meanwhile we are also looking for a new house/home and selling the old one. Buying and selling is said to be stressful, but try it while being in Sweden with your wifes mother ill in hospital.
12th January 2011
1st January 2011
27th August 2010
Why the interviews?? All due to this article..
The demand for organ donors far outstrips the supply. In this week's Scrubbing Up, Professor Martin Wilkinson argues that selling organs is the way forward.
"When people's organs fail, their best hope - sometimes their only hope - is a transplant.
And would allowing sale make more organs available?
26th August 2010
I have recently moved house and started a new job, these have both taken up a lot of my free time.
I had my 10 - YES! 10th year check up, over a 2 day period and passed with flying colours, not only that but I also volunteered to take part in some research to show that a CT scan can/could replace an angiograph.
I have also had a couple of Media and Research requests, so if you would like to help please read the requests and contact them directly - TTAB has no direct link with these requests I have just posted them here for your information..
University of Oxford
HAVE YOU DONATED AN ORGAN OR GIVEN CONSENT FOR ORGAN DONATION AFTER THE DEATH OF A LOVED ONE? WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCES AND TAKE PART IN RESEARCH ON ORGAN DONATION AIMED AT HELPING PATIENTS, THEIR FAMILIES, DOCTORS AND NURSES?
We have already produced over 50 sites, including two unique sections about patients’ experiences of intensive care and relatives’ experiences of intensive care (www.healthtalkonline.org).
For further information please contact: Suman Prinjha
Telephone: 01625 501 503 or 07751 582420
This study is funded by ICNARC (Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre)
Ok so what else is happening?
Tomorrow I am taking part in a BBC radio interview on transplantation and disagreeing with the purchase/sale of organs and try to get my point across about Opt Out rather than cash for organs or Opt In.
Also I will be taking part in this year Great North Run (First time for me)
Then in Oct I will be doing the Leicester Marathon, I know when will I stop??
Guess the answer is when no-one has to wait or die due to the lack of organs available...
8th April 2010
Last year was a tough year for most people with the recession etc etc and that took its toll on the charity and our funding. The local Outback SteakHouse sadly had to close and they were our biggest supportor.
So if you can the charity and I would very much appreciate it if you could sponsor me for the Marathon, every penny goes to the charity and allows us to continue helping transplant patients and to promote transplantations.
If you are able to make a donation no matter how small please follow this link.
Thank you all and take care
16th December 2009
I would also like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year..
26th Oct 2009
I am also busy training for the Comrades Ultra Marathon - 56 miles none stop in Africa May next year..
7th Sept 2009
So if you have a spare couple of bob please do visit www.justgiving.com/ttab and remember to include the gift aid if you are a UK tax payer.
All donations no matter how small as warmly welcomed..
On a personal note...
About 5 years a go Aunt Val took me skiing, yes she was a little crazy too, guess it's in our genes?
Aunt Val then took me off to another area and she was off again down one slope and then a huge jump landing flat on her chest, I wimpped out of that, but by the time I got to her she was on her feet and off again...
At dinner I admitted I was terrified at the top of the slope and the jump was never going to happen..
Aunt Val admitted then she had got lost and was also terrified, she had also fractured her ribs but still skied everyday after that..
Crazy Aunt Val...
So I hope you don't mind me sharing this with you all???
17th August 2009
I would also like to thank the "To Transplant and Beyond" Team members for their efforts in both the event and their fund raising for the charity...
Last week I was also invited to a dinner party with the Mayor of Richmond and the Lib-Dem MP Vincent Cable, The Mayor was proud to show me her donor card and Vince told me he was very much in favour of the opt-out scheme for donors.
We have also been very busy working on our own donor leaflet which I am hoping will be completed by the end of September 09..
Chat soon John
6th May 2009
Tkae Care and Chat Soon
14th March 2009
For the best part of Micky's life he has been involved in bands as a singer and steel guitar player, at the party I met several of his old band pals, one of them gave me a photo of Micky during his younger days in a dressing room before a gig. Boy he looked different back then.
I met Micky at Harefield Hospital (transplant centre) about 8 years a go where we soon became good friends, photo's of his actual transplant are on the website.
He joined me to celebrate my first year post transplant, Micky, John Ruben and I compared scars in the garden.
Sadly we all forgot to breath in when the photo was being taken.
Only a few more weeks and I will be taking part in my 8th London marathom since transplant, its around about now that I wish I had either trained more or left it to someone else - any volunteers?
Take Care and Chat Soon
5th February 2008
On a personal note I have just been given the all clear on my 8.5year post transplant check up and been given an appointment for 6 months time, which is always a good sign.
I will once again be taking part in the London marathon this year which will be my 8th London since transplant, then in the summer I will be joining the our charity team in The London Triathlon.
Take Care and Chat Soon
28th October 2008
Ernesto a good friend of mine who is Irish and a heart recipient also took part, it was also the 9th anniverary of his transplant. Around the 2 mile point we ran past the hospital where he had been for almost 9 months while waiting due to the fact he was so ill, he then also had his transplant at the same hospital.
As we ran past the main entrance on the steps waving to us was his wife. Well guess you can imagine what that was like - here we were two heart recipients running past the very hospital were one of us had their transplant 9years before on that very day.
We naturally both thought about our donors and the fact we owe our lives to transplantation and here we both were running a marathon - who would believe it?
11th September 2008
As yet I haven't actually entered the event but I am thinking about it, so as part of that thinking process I have decided to do the Dublin Marathon in October. This will encourage me to continue training and with a bit of luck I will get a qualifing time for comrades at the same time. I also intend to do the London Marathon in April next year and The London Triathlon in August. We do have some charity places for the London Triathlon so if you would like to join the team please do drop me an email.
2nd Sept 2008
London Triathlon was a huge success, with every team member that started managed to finish, most set personal bests, although it is a bit of an unfair comment, as it was the first time for most of them too.
I did the 1 mile swim in around 32min - the 24 mile bike ride in 1hr 20mins and the 6 mile run in 50 mins, all of which I am very pleased with.
We also had a stand on the finish line, where we were signing people up to the Organ Donor Register, which was also a huge success.
We have also had some donor awareness silicone rubber bands made to help promote transplantation, if you would like some then please do drop me an email.
10th July 2008
European Games - Vichy.
Bimmerflex BMW Charity Car Show
Sorry write ups are so brief but rushed off my feet at the moment..
24th May 2008
World Elite Triathlon Team..
World Transplant I
This is a fantastic way of showing the world what can be achieved post transplant, and that transplantation works, it will also encourage people to join the organ donor register..
Bill Wohl is the man behind this idea and has put in a lot of hard work contacting recipents around the globe and sorting out sponsorship etc for the team.. Top marks for such a great effort..
24th April 2008
Transplantation Saves Lives
London Marathon 2008 - 4hrs 13mins 2secs
So why do people say London Marathon is one of the best in the world??
So what next? A long earned rest? No, I have agreed to join The World Transplant Elite team and take part in the Escape from Alcatraz triathlon, as part of a relay team with me doing - yes you guessed it - the running leg. More about that on the next up date..
28th March 2008
The event was very well organised with a 6.30am start time, which meant I had to be up at 4am ready to leave my hotel by 5am. Well fortunately a good friend Peter Russell had decided to join me in Cape Town for this run or I may never have even made the start line. Yes I over slept, the hotel didn't give me my wake up call at 4am, so it was Peter banging on the door at 5am that woke me up. I had laid out my kit the night before, so all I had to do was grab it and jump in the taxi. My pre run breakfast turned out to be a muffin and can of coke.
6.30am and the gun went off for the start, it was still dark and quite cool with the first 14mile being fairly flat, on our left hand side was the Indian Ocean and some superb views. I found myself running along the centre of the road with 10,500 other runners around me, that's when I almost fell over. The cats eyes there are made of metal and are stuck to the surface of the road, they stick up quite a bit and almost brought me to my knees.
As you can see from the 14mile point we began to run up hill and temperature was around 26degress now and getting hotter, from here we are heading in land and towards the Atlantic Ocean. Around about the centre of the big valley you can see is the Marathon mark 26.2 miles (4hrs 19mins), from here it really does get tough to the top of that hill. At the very top I came across a TV crew and did a short live interview as the whole reason for this run for me was to raise transplant and donor awareness and try to encourage people to join the organ donor register. Well from that point it is pity much down hill all the way to the finish line.
Peter stayed with me to around the 25mile mark but had to stop for the call of nature, telling me to carry on and he would catch me up. Sadly he didn't catch me until the finish line, that mountain of a hill took it's toll on him and he finished the event about 10 minutes after I did. But we both achieved our goal of finishing under 6hrs and getting a Bronze medal each..
Now it was time for a photo for a national newspaper and another chance to raise some awareness. I was the first heart recipient to complete this event and it also coincided with the 40th year since the world's first heart transplant was done here.
18th March 2008
Cape Town - I leave later today and will arrive in Cape Town Wednesday morning with my first interview just 3 hours after I land, I am really trying to get a much positive transplant awareness out of this event as possible - as I don't intend to ever repeat the experience of having to run 35miles or the amount of time and effort all the training has taken to prepare for this event.
Take care and chat from Africa
11th March 2008
One of the things I really like about this website are the personal stories - they all give me great encouragement - especially those over 10, 15 and 20years post heart transplant. I am still a baby by comparison.. Our dear friend Micky Byrne celebrated 9 years yesterday...
There is also a new story added today Peta Capello, click on her name to read her story...
2nd March 2008
Then Friday I have been asked to be one of the speakers at a Transplant coordinator and Intensive Care Staff conference in a local hotel. I have now given loads of talks to various support groups and patients, but this is the first time I had been asked to talk to health professionals about my transplant etc, it will be a bit like having to sing to the choir.
I also have to continue with my training for the Cape Town Ultra marathon, although last Tuesday I fell over while running and slightly hurt my right leg. I have had to stop running since, hope I will recover in time to do the 35mile run, as it is not a distance to even think about trying if you have an injury.
25th February 2008
Now only 4 weeks to go before the Cape Town Ultra marathon, 35miles Coast to Coast. As far as we are aware a heart recipient has not taken part in this event before, so what a great time to do it 40years after the worlds first heart transplant was preformed there.
We are hoping to raise a lot of transplant & donor awareness by doing this event, as well as raise some much needed funds for the charity. As most of you already know the events we take part in are either completely funded by ourselves or by a separate corporate funding. All the money we raise for the events through sponsorship goes directly to the charity to help with the day to day running costs. So please do sponsor us for this event and help keep the charity and website going.
9th February 2008
February is always a busy time for us with talks, people seem to like having a speaker who talks about hearts around valentines.
Hong Kong Marathon is just around the corner 17th Feb 08, thanks to a good friend and Outback Steakhouse i am able to take part in this event, which is one to help raise some awareness and two is a training run for the Cape Town marathon.. I will also be doing The Wokingham Half Marathon is Sunday, hoping to be under 2 hours..
Keep those emails coming and chat soon
29th January 2008
Lets say you are against transplantation and that you don't want to donor your organs....
The opt out register will protect you - when the time comes the register will be checked to see if your name is on it, if so end of story - your organs will not be used for transplantation...
Here's something else I would like to share with you, several times now I have met people who at the time said No to their partners organs being transplanted... They have later regretted that decision, either they found a donor card at home later that belonged to their partner or they read a story about someone needing a transplant and realise they could have saved them etc etc - As we say why take your organs to heaven? Heaven knows we need them here...
Transplantation Saves Lives - Live Life, then Give Life
14th January 2008
So come on people get behind this and 100's of lives will be saved - Did you know you are more likely to need a transplant than be a donor?
Live Life, then Give Life
3rd January 2008
What a year we have planned:-
1. We would like to build a new website for all transplants, a few years a go I sat on a committee for Novartis and we built a superb website called Talk-Transplant. Sadly the funding for that website stopped and it was removed from the internet, well I would like to try and rebuild that website or something very similar. So if you have had a transplant of any kind and would like to help or add information to such a website please do let me know.
2. I also intend to carry on raising awareness through sport, running events etc. So this year I have planned
3. We would like to add a forum and a new guest book to this website, this will mean more training on Dream Weaver so that we can keep everything in house.
Mike Doyle, our Vice-Chairman found a heart transplant interactive operation on the internet, it is quite fun to try and very informative, follow this link
and another at
Don't forget, if you have something you would like to share with our visitors please do let us know..
4th December 2007
The reason that you haven't heard from me, I've had a lit'l medical set-back, myself. A spot was discovered on my left lung a few weeks ago in X-Ray & Cat-Scan. The folks at the hospital seem to think this is a Fungi infection, NOT Cancer or TB.
29th November 2007
Running a marathon is a bit like going through heart transplantation…..
You start the race (life) feeling fit and well – 12 miles in and you are getting tired but you manage to carry on fairly well – 20 miles and things become a bit of a struggle but with a bit of effort you still manage to carry on – 23 miles and it is tough now, you don’t even want to talk to anyone because you need all your concentration and effort to keep going – 25 miles and you hang on in there for the finish line (you wait for a donor) – 26.2 you are glad it is all over..
That evening after a marathon you can barely walk, and then next day walking and stairs are a real problem – now you know what it is like to have heart failure and need a heart transplant. Fortunately for you, you have only run a marathon and in a couple of days you will be fine again. BUT! For those of us that have heart failure a heart transplant is the only way we have a chance of a normal life again.
Imagine running that marathon – the next day you can barely walk or climb a flight of stairs – now imagine the only way you can return to normal is a heart transplant…
Approx 50% of the people waiting for a donor heart will die while waiting due to the lack of donor. You can make a difference join the organ donor register, and let your friends and family your wishes. You are more likely to need a transplant than be a donor – if you would accept an organ then surely you should be willing to give… Live Life, then Give Life..
Well I was just thinking out loud really and hope you get the gist of what I am saying..
27th November 2007
As usual we have completely funded ourselves to take take in the Cape Town Ultra Marathon, as we are once again raising Transplant and Donor, we are also hoping to raise some more funds for the charity so that it can continue to help pre & post transplant patients etc etc.
You can sponsor us at:- http://www.justgiving.com/cape town
Other News:- Bob Pitcock has been slightly unwell for a few weeks but I am pleased to say he is on the mend and is going to put himself on a healthier life style.
16 November 2007
Then Tuesday I met with the Managing Director of Cherry Active - He started his business after suffering from gout, and as we all know gout can be very painful! Anyway he was in America on business for a company he then worked for, while there he had gout and a friend told him about Cherry Active.
Well to cut a long story short, he left the company he was working for and set up his own company here in the UK selling Cherry Active. Apart from it being good for gout, it also has several other properties one of which helps with sport recovery.
Cherry Active may become one of our corporate supporters and help with the funding of our London Triathlon Team.
For more information on Cherry Active why not visit their website:- www.cherryactive.co.uk
Thursday we had 3/4 of a page write up in The Sun on organ donation and the need for more donors, saying that it is time for the opt out system - rather than opt in.. More lives would be saved - did you know you are more likely to need a transplant than be a donor.
Bimmerflex have asked us to be the charity for their annual BMW Car show.
Mazda London Triathlon
To Transplant & Beyond have guaranteed charity places in this event so please contact us today to reserve your place! All we ask for is £75 registration fee and a minimum sponsorship commitment of £500.
1. To raise some transplant and donor awareness, as this event almost coincides with the 40th Anniversary of the World's First Heart Transplant 3rd December 2007. At least by the time I return to the UK and the press print the story it will almost be spot on.
2. Peter lives in Shanghai and has also agreed to run the Cape Town Ultra Marathon (35miles) with me in March next year. So it was a good chance to meet up again and train together for my biggest challenge yet (well running challenge that is).
PS. A good friend Jill Edwards (18years post transplant) told me off for not letting you all know what the charity does. So in future I will try to write a more detailed report on what we do week to week (starting with the above).
Thanks for keeping me on my toes Jill... John xx
3rd November 2007
My thoughts and prays are with the families of those recipients who died and with those who are still on the heart transplant waiting list. We all know that transplantation is a risk and that you would not be offered a heart transplant if you could live a decent quality of life without it. BUT having the odds become so bad for no apparent reason is really worrying.
I am sure that nothing untoward is going on at Papworth and that they will soon be back on track with the national average.
The answer to all of this and to improve the odds nationally is more donors, then people would not have to wait so long The longer they have to wait the worst their condition becomes, the worse the odds of success.
So come on lets all give it an extra push and promote the organ donor and get a few extra people signed up.
Live Life, then Give Life
30th October 2007
I would be willing to try again if some of you are willing to take on the role of mediators and keep a daily check on it, please let me know if you are interested and we will go from there.
28th October 2007
I would like to thank all the staff for helping to make it a very enjoyable and successful evening..
I have also just returned from a half term holiday in France with my youngest daughter, although I use the word holiday very loosely. She had me running, cycling, swimming, canoeing and horse riding.
The reason I mention this is to show you once again there is a chance of a great life post heart transplant, remember June 2000 I could hardly climb a flight of stairs or even walk to the end of the road. Spending quality time with my family is now very important to me, sadly I needed to go through heart transplantation to give me a wake up call and remind me what is really important in life. Health - Family and Friends (People).
Now it is back to training and trying to stay fit and healthy, while at the same time raising transplant and donor awareness..
17th October 2007
I have also agreed to run the Shanghai Marathon with my friend Peter Russell, Peter ran The Great Wall marathon with me, and as he lives and works in Shanghai he has invited me to stay at his house and take part in this event. His generous offer removed most of my excuses for not taking part in it, so this year I would have completed 3 marathons - that will make it 13 since transplant, which is crazy as I only ever intended to run one.
Will let you know how Dinner/Race night go..
10th October 2007
John Fisher - Magdi Yacoub - Mike Doyle
You can watch the show on ITV this evening from 9pm...
After the show we got to mingle with various celeb's and have a bit of a chat...
8th October 2007
Shanghai Marathon - Thanks to the generosity of Peter Russell, who ran the Great Wall of China with me. I will be taking part in the Shanghai Marathon (25th Nov) - Peter lives and works in Shanghai and has asked if I would like to run the event with him and stay in his apartment while there...
Tomorrow an event I have been looking forward too actually happens - sadly will have to tell you about it after the event..
Also I have just picked up a new banner for the charity that promotes us and the organ donor card - it will have its first showing at our Charity Dinner and Race Night - Remember to book your tickets...
2nd October 2007
Wednesday I will be joining staff from UK Transplant at Portsmouth University for Fresher's Week, UKT are running a Be A Super Hero Campaign to encourage students to join the Organ Donor Register....
Next week I will be taking part in a very special surprize that sadly I can't tell you about until after the event....
I am also looking in to doing another marathon this year as part of my training for The Cape Town 35mile Ultra Marathon which is on 22rd March 2008... I have a lot of training to do as my weight has gone from 84kg to 92kg, that's what happens when you stop training, and then eat & drink to much...
17th Sept 2007
The 800m swim was in a man made rowing lake at Dorney - this lake is going to be used for the 2012 Olympics..
13th Sept 2007
We are putting a team together for the London Triathlon 2008, so far 12 people have already signed up, including two of the transplant Coordinators from Harefield. If you would like to be part of the team please do drop me an email.
Heart logo laces - we still have some of the laces available so if you would like a pair please do order yours now..
Last week I also had my 7year MOT - Check up and I am pleased to say I was given the A-OK..
4th Sept 2007
The 23-year-old underwent an operation to replace her heart after developing the condition restrictive cardiomyopathy in her teens.
She said: "My initial reaction was 'Oh yuk!'
"But then I thought it was slightly surreal and amazing at the same time when I saw it in the flesh."
Ironically, the animal science graduate is used to dissecting hearts for her studies.
Examining the heart she was born with, she added: "The way the disease progresses, it should have been distended but it looked quite normal - if a little small."
3rd September 2007
So what's new??
3. I have booked my flight and hotel ready for the Two Oceans Ultra marathon in Cape Town South Africa (35miles).
4. I am looking into taking part in another Marathon this year as part of my training for the above event.
5. We are arranging a Race Night at Outback Steakhouse Staines for Wednesday 17th October 2007, please do email me if you would like more details...
7th August 2007
I also did a BBC Sport TV interview with Graham Bell which will be on Tv this coming Sunday 1.30pm...
I am putting a team together for next years London Triathlon, if you would like to be part of our team please do email me your details etc...
The other news is that the laces I had made to promote transplantation and organ donation are now here....
If you would like a pair please make a donation of £2.00 ($4) to cover the cost of laces and postage - please note we are a non-profit charity all we are trying to do is promote transplantation..
You can pay on-line but please remember to email me your postal address as well:- firstname.lastname@example.org
If you pay on-line via Just Giving from a country other than the UK your Credit card company will work out the exchange rate for you...
or by post UK Pounds only
To Transplant and Beyond
Many Thanks for your support
30th July 2007
That said I really do appreciate the emails I received from friends and family, especially Texas Bob... For you all to have remembered and taken the time to write was special..
Sunday I will be taking part in the London Triathlon and I will be doing a BBC interview where I will promote transplant and donor awareness which will hopefully lead to another person be saved thanks for the generosity of someone else..
27th July 2007
Last night I did a live debate on transplantation in London for The Welcome Trust, I was joined by Stephen Large a transplant surgeon from Papworth Hospital. The debate went very well and we covered almost all the aspects of transplantation...
I am hoping the trainer laces I ordered to raise transplant and donor awareness will be ready sometime next week, so watch this space....
I have also been working on this years Christmas Card, the planning and design is going very well, now I have to get it sign off by UK Transplant as it uses their organ donor logo's etc..
14th July 2007
I am looking forward to working with both Tanya & Vinnie promoting transplantation and raising awareness..
6th July 2007
More details to follow
6th July 2007
I must admit I was a bit concerned beforehand about what to say, as I didn't want to up set anyone. So I started with a question? Who knows what a heart transplant is?? Well almost half the children raised their hands and the young boy I chose to answer was spot on, the talk/chat went from there..
National Transplant Week is next week so try to do your bit to raise some awareness...
2nd July 2007
1. We are producing some laces for running shoes that have hearts on, the idea is that people put these in their trainers to show they support transplantation. It is also hoped people will ask about the laces that are being worn, this will lead to a chat about transplantation, which will raise some positive awareness.. More to follow when the laces have been made, they have already been ordered...
2. This is where you can help us, last year we produced a transplant & donor theme Christmas Card
We are looking to do the same this year, any ideas and suggestions??? Yes I know it may seem early to be thinking about Christmas but we have to go through the planning, funding and printing stages in time for Christmas, which all takes a fair amount of time...
Well chat soon
30th June 2007
That skin irritation I have turned out to be Shingles, one of the joys of taking immune suppressants I suppose, but that's life although I don't really have time to be ill.
The London Triathlon is on Sunday 5th August and I am nowhere even near ready, although this time last year I had kidney problems due to being given the wrong drugs, so I guess shingles is much less of a worry...
It is still raining here, but I have decided I am going out for a couple of hours bike ride tomorrow regardless..
28th June 2007
London triathlon, I can't seem to be able to get back into training, the weather is bad, which is a poor excuse really. Also I currently have a skin irritation which I will speak to my GP about sometime today, it feels a bit like sunburn, although it has rained here for weeks, so perhaps it is rising damp???
Will let you know - Chat soon
17th June 2007
I have just been sitting in the garden having my breakfast wishing I had either tried to do the bike ride and get back on time or that I had gone jet skiing for the day..
Jan has gone to Tai Chi and Charlie is still fast asleep in bed, so now I realise what I have been missing the last 6years..
12th June 2007
A whole host of people have asked if they can be part of next years team, so if you would like to join us all for this event next year please do drop me an email...
After the triathlon I am going to take a well earned rest from events, I may enter a few short distance, low key ones just to stay fit.
2008 I intend to take part in the Cape Town Ultra marathon which is in March, Cape town as you probably know is where the worlds first heart transplant was done. I am as usual hoping that by taking part in this event I will be able to raise some positive transplant and donor awareness..
Then after that there is The London marathon which will be my 7th since transplant...
Just writing about these has had me tried so Chat Soon
5th June 2007
Mike Doyle our Vice-Chairman is a member of Probus and nominated me to be one of their speakers, I believe it was very well received and some positive donor and transplant awareness was raised.
Running a marathon is a bit like your typical transplant story??
25miles and you are completely worn out, with a mile still to do, by the end of the marathon all you want to do is lay down. The next day you can barely walk and climbing stairs is near impossible, fortunately for marathon runners this is temporary.
For someone on the heart transplant waiting list their only chance of getting back to normal is a donor. So next time you run a marathon try to imagine that person who is on the waiting list..
29th May 2007
The Great Wall Marathon 6hrs 26mins and a few seconds.....
The race started at 7.30am, although we had to be there at 5.30am. When the gun went off it was around 25degrees and we had 26.2miles (42km) ahead of us.
First we had to run 3miles (5km) up hill in order to get to the Great Wall and our first step to climb of over 3,700.
As you can see there is no shade, no handrails and each flight can be over 250 steps with no landing. It is now around 30degress and little do we know but we still have over 5hours out here before we will finish.
As usual there are people flying past us, but my experience tells me I will be seeing them again later in the day as I pass them in the second half of the race. The tortoise and the hare, in a marathon like this the tortoise will win every time.
A good friend Peter Russell, who now lives and works in China has agreed to run with me. We take it in turns to carry a bottle of water, as we begin to realise what we have taken on.
We actually only run about 5miles on the Great Wall, 2.5miles near the start of the race and another 2.5miles near the end.. Yes that really is more than enough....
Considering the heat and the fact that we seem to be continually climbing, we are doing very well. We get to the half marathon point around 3hrs and can't believe it is still going up hill, it is also now around 35degrees.
Surely it has to go down hill now?
I begin to think that we will follow the same route down as we came up, which will be superb as it is mostly tarmac road.
21miles - 4hrs 30mins later and we are back on the Great Wall, the cut off time for this point is 6hrs, so we are really pleased with our progress. The thing is we now have almost 2000 steps to climb and some are almost knee high.
But how long can it take to complete the last five miles? Actually as it turned out it wasn't the last 3miles we had to worry about, but the next 2miles over the wall. I can't believe it has taken us 45mins to cover the next mile, and even at this pace we are over taking people.
Oh remember these runners that went past us earlier? Well there they are sitting on the steps or laying down, some are even heading back off the wall, having even up.
We leave the wall for the last time and now have 3miles (5km) of down hill tarmac road to the finish line. I am surprised how good my legs feel as I was really struggling on the climb over the wall. We start to jog and before we now it we are into a good pace around 10minute miles, which is very good for the last 3 miles of a marathon, especially this one.
We look at our watches, then each other 6hrs 3mins... I believe we both had the same thought at this point, we have to beat 6hrs 30min. We up the pace and we are passing people all the time, most of who are now walking.
6hrs 26mins and a few seconds - we did it..
I now it is time to do some interviews and raise some transplant and donor awareness, the press and TV coverage is superb. I have my photo taken with Henrik Jorgensen, the London Marathon Winner 1988, for a dutch newspaper.
The next day I also get to see some articles about me in various Chinese Papers, although I don't have a clue what they say..
So what next? I have the London Triathlon in August and Peter Russell who I ran the Great Wall with has talked me into another race March next year...
In Cape Town - Africa - Where the first heart transplant was done.
Will tell you more in the next up date.
14th May 2007
As you can see from the photo we tried to get in the Chinese mood by wearing some coolie hats during dinner.
9th May 2007
Shirley Doyle - Andy Kellock (19 years post heart transplant)
6.30pm they had finished playing and we sat down to a celebration dinner, followed by the presentation, an auction and then a raffle. The guests were all very generous and from a room of 100 people we raised a magnificent £3,500.00 for the charity.
This day was made possible by Ashford Manor Golf Club and it's members, and the kind generosity of local business's who donated the prizes etc.
From the bottom of our new hearts we thank you all.
John, Mike & Andy
7th May 2007
Mike Doyle our Vice-Chairman will be celebrating 18years post heart transplant and by coincidence he is also celebrating his 70th Birthday this month. So we decided to mark the occasion with a FUNd raising event (Golf Day)
I have been overwhelmed by the support from several local business's, in fact every single one I asked didn't hesitate to say yes and they were all very generous.
Please have a look at the Supporters Page - Mike Doyle's Golf Day to see how many people helped us and made it possible to put on this event.
The Charity and I owe you all a Great Thank You
6th May 2007
What have I let myself in for??
I have also been told it is the 4th hardest Marathon in the world
This makes me ask what are the 3 hardest?
Thanks Bob, but sometimes ignorance is bliss..
ps Another friend just sent me this picture as well, with the message
"Rather you than me - although if this is what you can do after a heart transplant where do I sign?"
The answer is easy
29th April 2007
Less than 3 weeks until the Great Wall of China Marathon, a lot of time and effort has gone into the training for this event. Over 3,700 steps to climb on the wall, as well as covering the 26.2 miles. Seemed such a good idea a few months a go, hope i am up to this challenge.
I only ever intended to complete one marathon, then Jan my wife asked if I would do one with her, and before I knew it one became two, then three and over 10 marathons under my belt.
6 London Marathons - Snowdonia - Athens - Sydney - Venice and on 19th May China will be number 11.
I must be crazy or perhaps it is something they put in the pills i am taking??
25th April 2007
Take care and chat soon
24th April 2007
Jan is taking me out tonight for a birthday surprize, let you know tomorrow what it was..
On the 19th May I will be running the Great Wall of China Marathon, you can support this website and charity by sponsoring me for this event at:-
Thank You for Your Support
23rd April 2007
I had the great pleasure of chatting to Ron Hill at the expo centre on Friday when I picked up my race number, Ron signed my race number for me and gave me some last minute advice.
During the marathon I also chatted to Colin Jackson (BBC Sport) on London Bridge and Sue Barker on the finish line. Sue has interviewed me six years running now, and is a great supporter of Transplantation. This year Sue said how amazed she was that I have now completed 6 London Marathons since transplant and that I must be a great inspiration to people on the transplant waiting list, she finished by saying see you next year...
So now the count down to The China Marathon begins, four weeks and counting..
21th April 2007
But that not all there's still the usual things to do as well...
We are also putting the finishing touches to the organisation of our charity golf day, Mike Doyle (vice-chairman) will be 18years post transplant in May and will also be celebrating his 70th Birthday. So we decided to organise a Charity Golf Day at his local club, the support from the members, friends and business's has been superb..
Well chat soon
11th April 2007
The training has gone fairly well with very little injury, but to be honest it is not London that is the worry...It's China and the Great Wall marathon I have also entered which is on May 19th..
I am looking forward to the experience and the chance to raise some positive transplant awareness, but it is a big challenge that I hope I am upto....Time will tell..
I would appreciate it you if you would sponsor me for these events, which will help keep the website and charity going. As you probably know we are totally non-profit and relies totally on donations..
27th March 2007
Sunday I took part in the Cranleigh 21mile road race, it is a very hilly route and I finished in 3hrs 16mins. Now I am wondering whether to try and finish London in sub 4hrs or whether to run easy and save myself for China.
Who would have dreamt it? Transplantation has been very kind to me, and sadly I do know that not all of you have been so lucky. I am trying to make the very best of my wonderful gift, not just for myself but for transplantation, and hopefully more people will get the same chance as I have had.
So please promote the organ donor register, save a life..
0845 60 60 400
Thank you for all the jokes you have sent me, yet to receive one I could actually put on the website though..
18th March 2007
I now know why the area is called Hill-ingdon, if we weren't going up hill we were going down. I managed to finish this event in 3hrs 3mins, which was a superb time and a great build up to my marathons.
15th March 2007
Our little friend Alex Wood leaving hospital after his heart transplant, and what a way to do it - in true style his very own limo. Guess he intends to start his new life in the way he intends it to continue.
We all wish you the very best for the future.
Texas "Bob and John
What a busy weekend, Saturday I attended a British Heart Foundation Seminar as one of the speakers. Then Sunday I took part in the Fleet Half Marathon where I met some of the stars from Emmerdale, They were more than willing to have their photo's taken and add their support to raising transplant and donor awareness.
10th March 2007
The talk/presentation went very well and i have been asked to attend several other groups to give them a presentation.
9th March 2007
Well done Micky - God Bless Our Donors and Donor Families.
6th March 2007
Mike Doyle (Vice-Chairman) and myself have been organising a Charity Golf Day to celebrate Mike being 18 years post transplant and his 70th Birthday. This will take place on 8th May 2007 and I am pleased to say we have had a lot of support and interest in this event.
London 22nd April & Great Wall of China May 19th Marathons, yes in a moment of complete and utter madness I decided to take part in both of these marathons. I have already completed London Marathon 5 times and my intention now is to do it every year post transplant. Whereas China is going to be a hugh challenge, over 3700 steps and around 30degress with no or very little shade. This has been made possible by the generosity of our friends at Outback Steakhouse, as they have funded the trip. I will be the first heart recipient to take part in this event, so the idea as usual is to raise some positive transplant and donor awareness, which I hope will lead to people joining the organ donor register..
If you would like to sponsor me for this event and help support this website and charity, you can do so securely on-line. Every penny of your donation goes directly to the charity, as we are totally non-profit and no one gets paid for their time and effort.
20years Post Transplant
I just received this story from Andy in Birmingham and wanted to share it with you all.
My Own Opinion
We heart recipients are a bit more at ease with our immune system being problematic to a certain point. Others may disagree with me but I have not very often been concerned about being in contact with others in my presence directly. Could be that I am almost 21yrs out with my heart transplant and my immune system has grown accustomed to my everyday life. Don't really know.
Life is liken to a big Rodeo, with the ups and downs, hard falls, aches and pains, laughter, tears but all in all, it's been a great ride up to now.
God is Great
A very memorable happening during my journey of heart problems. I was singing onstage at the Texas Opry Jamboree during Christmas holidays here in Magnolia and experienced a severe heart attack right there behind this microphone in this pic.
After being transported to the local hospital, being stabilized and spending several days in the hospital, I rec'd a phone call in my hospital room from Cookie Douglas, the owner of the Texas Opry Jamboree the following Saturday evening during the onstage show. I was greatly surprised when she held the phone up in the air and then I heard the complete audience of over 500 folks at the show, shout out very loudly
23 December 2007
This is what
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you all..
Texas Bob Pitcock
12th December 2007
I just want to share with you, a story about my past. In the photo below you will see me and Rhonda Toomer dancing at my sister Judy's 1991 Christmas party at her home.
I first met Rhonda at the time of our heart transplants January 28th 1991. Our heart transplants were performed on the very same night. We met and became very close friends, even though she lived 250 miles north of me in Ft Worth Texas. Contacted each other quite often for the next 12 years, by phone and emails.
Texas "Bob" Pitcock
2nd October 2007
17th Sept 2007
This answers one of the questions I have always had about heart transplantation.
Two months ago at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, surgeons removed a transplanted heart from a patient who had died and re transplanted it in another recipient.
“To my knowledge, this is the first time this has been done with a transplanted heart,” Dr. Lawrence S. C. Czer, medical director of the center’s heart transplant program, told Reuters Health. “Even with other organs, repeat transplantation is very rare.”
The second patient was a 45-year-old man with non compaction syndrome, a rare cardiac condition in which the heart assumes a sponge like appearance. The disease is progressive, and the man’s heart became more and more disabled despite the best medical therapy.
According to Czer, the patient first went on the waiting list for a heart transplant in 2002 but he improved and came off the list for several years. About a year ago, his condition worsened and again he was placed on the list.
Finding a suitable donor heart was complicated by the fact that the patient was a “very large man.” As Czer noted, “You can transplant a large heart into a smaller recipient, but not a small heart into a larger recipient.”
Two months ago, the patient received a call from the transplant coordinator saying that a heart had become available. As it turned out, this organ had already been transplanted into one recipient who had died a week after the procedure from unrelated causes.
There are a number of potential issues that arise with re transplantation, Czer noted. For one thing, the risk of rejection is heightened because the organ has now been exposed to tissue and antibodies from two different individuals.
You can learn something everyday.
10th Sept 2007
I just this moment discovered this fact about the beginnings of the Transplant Olympic Games.
The first “Transplant Olympics,” organized by British transplant surgeon Maurice Slapak, were held in Portsmouth, England in 1978. Approximately 100 kidney transplant recipients, representing over a dozen countries, gathered in Olympic fashion. In subsequent years, the Transplant Olympics were renamed the World Transplant Games and held in New York, Athens, Amsterdam, Singapore, Budapest, Vancouver and Manchester, each time increasing in size and visibility.
Ol' Texas Bob Pitcock
4th July 2007
"While surfing the internet this evening I found this article I thought you may find interesting."
Growing heart tissue for implantation is possible in six weeks says top heart surgeon
Cardiac patients could have their own or donated cells engineered into heart valve or muscle replacements and implanted within six weeks from donation. This could be possible in as little as three to five years say top heart surgeons in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences published today (Monday 3 September).
Professor Magdi Yacoub, the world's leading heart surgeon and Professor of Cardiac Surgery at Imperial College, based at the Heart Science Centre at Harefield Hospital has compiled the progress of his team and researchers worldwide for a special edition of the journal entitled 'Bioengineering the heart'.
Professor Yacoub said: "Currently people suffering from heart valve disease can be treated with artificial replacement valves they do the job and save people's lives but they are far from perfect. Although there has been huge progress in developing mechanical replacements, they still work mechanically and not physiologically - they cannot match the elegant sophisticated functions of living tissues".
The use of stem cells in cardiovascular tissue engineering has the potential to mend damaged valves or heart muscle, providing a like for like' match which would grow and repair in the same way as patient's own heart tissue, unlike a donor valve or artificial mechanical valve.
"The ultimate goal is to produce off-the-shelf' products which will not cause an immune response from patients. This should be possible in the next five to eight years. Using stem cells rather than animal heart valves will reduce the risk of serious human disease caused by rejection."
Currently, only limited heart valve replacements are available and all have the problem of durability. This latest research could potentially lead to an unlimited number of heart valves being readily available to treat the 80, 000 people worldwide who will need replacements by the year 2020.
Biological substitutes perform many additional sophisticated functions which can enhance heart muscle function, exercise capacity and quality of life. These could have important implications for the well being and survival of the patient. In order to achieve this, researchers in developmental biology, stem cell biology, immunology and tissue engineering need to work closely together.
In 2005, over 15 million people died of cardiovascular disease it is one of the major causes of death and suffering in both the developed and developing countries and there is an urgent need for prevention and treatment.
Ol' "Texas Bob" Pitcock
13th May 2007
I have never heard of this before.
29th April 2007
Yes, I have lived a wonderful life, but the most exciting part of my life has been the past 16 years post heart transplant.
Very ironic, how being very close to death then being given the chance for a extended life, can truly open your eyes as to how precious life is.
Life is a Gift of God and not meant to be taken lightly.
The word L.O.V.E. is used in my conversations every day of my life since I have been given this
Never wait 'til it is too late, to tell folks in your life that you love them, by golly. As long as St Peter keeps on dustin' off my "Welcome Mat", I will share my feelings with everyone that I come in contact with.
Too many folks take life for granted. There's only one ride on this "Merry-Go-Round" of life----------Make it count !!!!!!
23rd April 2007
My heart transplant pal Howard Little received a wonderful plaque from our Transplant Center here in Houston Texas celebrating his 20th year post heart transplant.
22nd January 2007
Thank you all for keeping him in your prays, now lets hope and pray that he can return to a normal life. School, homework, exams, girlfriends, marriage, mortgage etc etc..
Please also say a pray for his donor and his donor family, we too feel your lose and are all truly grateful for your generous gift to Alex
Registered Charity No 1106248