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To Transplant and Beyond
Unit 12
Saxon Way Trading Estate
Saxon Way
Harmondsworth
Middlesex
UB7 0LW
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UK

Many Thanks for your support

______

Links to Heart Related

Poems - Jokes

Book -Rose Labyrinth
The Rose Labyrinth

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
______

Tony Huesman
Heart Transplant
August 30th 1978
Stanford University Medical Hospital of California

Tony Huesman
Yes! 29years post heart transplant and still going strong.

"It doesn't really matter when we die, how we die or why we die.
What really matters though, is how we live....
And the hearts and souls of those we touch along the way".

Regards Tony
__________

Order Your Laces

We have had some special laces made to promote organ donation and transplantation.

If you would like a pair please make a donation of £2.00 ($4) to cover the cost of laces and postage
Heart Laces

You can pay on-line but please remember to email me your postal address as well:-

john@heart-transplants.co.uk

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...

Just Giving Logo

or by post
UK Pounds only
Cheques payable to:-

To Transplant and Beyond
Unit 12
Saxon Way Trading Estate
Saxon Way
Harmondsworth
Middlesex
UB7 0LW
England
UK

Many Thanks for your support

--------

 

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Organ Donor Register
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or Call
0845 60 60 400

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Today's Joke
As a smile and a giggle always helps!!!

Mum and Dad were watching TV when Mum said, "I'm tired, and it's
getting late. I think I'll go to bed." She went to the kitchen
to make sandwiches for the next day's lunches. Rinsed out the
popcorn bowls, took meat out of the freezer for supper the following
evening, checked the cereal box levels, filled the sugar container,
put spoons and bowls on the table and started the coffee pot for
brewing the next morning. She then put some wet clothes in the
dryer, put a load of clothes into the washer, ironed a shirt
and secured a loose button.

She picked up the game pieces left on the table, put the phone
back on the charger and put the telephone book into the drawer. She
watered the plants, emptied a wastebasket and hung up a towel to
dry. She yawned and stretched and headed for the bedroom.

She stopped by the desk and wrote a note to the teacher, counted
out some cash for the excursion and pulled a text book out from
hiding under the chair.

She signed a birthday card for a friend, addressed and stamped
the envelope and wrote a quick note for the grocery store. She put
both near her bag... Mum then washed her face with 3 in 1 cleanser,
put on her Night Solution & age fighting moisturizer, brushed and
flossed her teeth and filed her nails.

Dad called out, "I thought you were going to bed.""I'm on my
way," she said.

She put some water into the dog's dish and put the cat outside,
then made sure the doors were locked and the patio light was on.
She looked in on each of the kids and turned out their bedside
lamps and radios, hung up a shirt, threw some dirty socks into
the hamper,and had a brief conversation with the one up still doing
homework.

In her own room, she set the alarm; laid out clothing for the
next day, straightened up the shoe rack. She added three things to
her 6 most important things to do list. She said her prayers, and
visualized the accomplishment of her goals.

About that time, Dad turned off the TV and announced to no one
in particular. "I'm going to bed." And he did...without another
thought.

Anything extraordinary here? Wonder why women live longer...?

'CAUSE WE ARE MADE FOR THE LONG HAUL...... (and we can't die
sooner, we still have things to do!!!!)

More Jokes>>>

____

Have a good joke?
Why not Email it to me.

john@heart-transplants.co.uk

 


John & Magdi
Sir Professor Magdi Yacoub with John
Email
john@heart-transplants.co.uk


30th July 2015
Hard to believe I am now 15 Fantastic years post heart transplant, I honestly never expected to still be here today. I was hoping for 2 years 5 at best - WOW 15 and no illness since transplant. God Bless my donor and all donors.
Also
The British Transplant games are under way in GatesHead, Transplant recipients from all over the UK are taking part in memory of their donors.

7th May 2015
Pleased to say I have now completed my 14th London Marathon since my heart transplant - It was perfect marathon running conditions, cloudy, around 15 degrees and dry.

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
This summer I will be part of a team of Transplant Recipients that will be climbing an active volcano in Ecuador. Cotopaxi is over 5500metres high, this is the biggest challenge I have under taken since transplant. We will be away for almost 3 weeks in Ecuador getting ourselves used to altitude and climbing.
Later this month on 13th March we travel to Scotland to begin our training with ice picks, climbing slings and getting used to carrying a 20kg rucksack all day.

Please Help Support Us
https://www.justgiving.com/cotopaxi2015/

13th Feb 2015
Our Valentine Organ Donor Camapign is going very well, ITV breakfast show invited the Star of the Video Stacie Pridden on to the program to talk about the campaign and her story.

Our dear friends at BHF also helped promote this campaign on their website and social media.

www.bhf.org.uk/news-from-the-bhf

If you havent yet seen this campaign here are some links

www.giveyourheart.co.uk

www.youtube.com

30th Oct 2014
The Charity has been allocated 10places in The Great North Run 2015.
These will be on a First Come; First Serve Bases.
We are asking for a £50 Registration Fee plus a Fund Raising Pledge of a further £200.

Please Email me if you would like one or more of these places
john@ttab.co.uk

14th May 2014
Recipient of the Day
Victoria Farley
Kidney & Pancreas Transplant 2014
"My philosophy is to take each day as it comes, love your friends and family and don’t take anything for granted and always remember to live life to the full!!!"...
I had been an insulin dependent diabetic since the age of 11 and in 2009 I was diagnosed with kidney failure. Over the next couple of years I became more and more unwell and was placed on the transplant list in December 2010. I started dialysis in August 2011 and was very lucky to get my transplant in July 2012.
Before my transplant my Fiancé, Richard, and I promised ourselves that we would get married after the transplant, and in July 2013, one year after the transplant, we finally tied the knot after being together for 15 years.
Last year I competed in the British transplant games and to my great surprise came home with a bronze and a silver medal, I even made it to the local news paper!!!!I can’t wait for this years games!!!
I would like to thank my family and friends for their support as without it I would probably have gone round the bend!!
I have written to my donor family and received a letter back from them which I very much treasure. I have also planted a rose in the back garden in memory of my donor, the name of the rose is “Remember Me” Words can’t express my feelings and thanks towards my donor and his family. Without him, and the families’ brave decision, I may not be here today.

13th May 2014
Recipient of the Day
Joanne Hope
Heart Transplant 1989
" You can't use your organs when you die... So why not leave them for someone else to use"...
I had a son 5 years after my transplant.
My hobbies include talking (( a lot!!)), being with friends and family, going on holiday, (( and taking lots of photos!)), keeping fit on my wii (( love to dance I do))
I work for a well known bingo site which suits me down to the ground as it involves talking!!!
I'm currently on dialysis waiting for a kidney transplant

Link to Past Recipients of the Day
Click Here

 

4th May 2014

We have 1 Charity Place left in
The Great North Run

2014
If you would like to run for us please email me

john@ttab.co.uk

We are asking for a £50.00 Registration Fee
and
A Minimum Pledge of £200.00 Fund Raising
A Total of £250.00

 

17th March 2014
I am pleased to say Barcelona Marathon my 25th since Heart Transplant is now under my belt, it was a tough route on a hot day. Now to be a tourist for a couple of days before heading home. Then in just 4 weeks I have my 13th Lomdon Marathon to run, think I maybe getting a little too old for all this! ;-)

Chat Soon

John

14th March 2014
Today I catch a flight to Barcelona so that I can run the Marathon there on Sunday, wish I could stay I was 100% fit for this event but sadly my training over the winter wasn't as good as I would have hoped.

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.

John

10th March 2014
Next Sunday I will be running the Barcelona Marathon.
Please Don't Sponsor me for this event.
1. Instead I would like to ask you to join the Organ Donor Register (thats if you haven't already)
and
2. Get one other person to join.

Thanks You

John

5th March 2014
Oli Thompson shows his support for Organ Donation
"You could save 7 lives by joining the Organ Donor Register"

Oli is the former British Strongest Man and UFC Mixed Martial Art fighter, now fighting for Bamma

3rd March 2014
Northern Ireland launch a new organ donor campaign today
"Speak up and save a life"

3rd March 2014
Paul Semtex Daley shows his support for organ donoation

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.
Now, thirty years on, he is the second oldest surviving heart transplant patient in the UK and the oldest in Gloucestershire.

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.
Even after the operation on February 18, 1984 - which was pioneering at the time - surgeons did not believe that Steve would live more than a year.

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
The Great North Run

2014
If you would like to run for us please email me

john@ttab.co.uk

We are asking for a £50.00 Registration Fee
and
A Minimum Pledge of £300.00 Fund Raising
A Total of £350.00

___

Please remember you can follow us on FaceBook

 

8th August 2013
Pleased to say that the Ride London 100 cycle race is now under my belt, it was a tough event which started and finished in centreal London and took in the Surrey hills including Newlands Corner, Leigh Hill and Box Hill.
Next up is the Barcelona Marathon on March 16th 2014 and then the London Marathon in April 2014.
I have also had my 13th year post heart transplant check up and apart from my cholesterol being high (7.7) which I will now take Prevastatin for all was well.

Chat soon

John

12th July 2013
30th July I will be a fantastic 13 years post heart transplant, so in memory of my donor Steven Tibbey and to help raise some much needed funds for this charity I will be taking part in the Ride London 100 cycle event. This is a 100 mile cycle in and around the London area.

Please sponsor me

www.justgiving.com/johncycle100

Thank you for your generous support

John

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

John

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.

John :-)

 

12th March 2013
Pleased to say the training for my 12th London Marathon since transplant is going well, although I am still slightly over weight.

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
Thursday we will be recording our first of many Podcast interviews, the first interview will be with:-
John McCafferty - who is 30years post transplant, if you have any questions you would like us to ask John please do email me or visit our facebook page

www.facebook.com/transplantchat

 

5th December 2012
I am always looking for new ways to promote transplantation and the Organ Donor Register, so today I started work on a new project. This project has been called TransplantChat and is going to be a series of Podcast interviews.
Please do follow this project on:-

www.facebook.com/transplantchat

I have also set up a twitter account

www.twitter.com/transplantchat

and a website

www.transplantchat.com

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.

Chat soon

John

 

20th September 2012
Soon I will be working on a new page to show some of the press and media we have recieved while trying to raise Donor and Transplant awareness. Here is a link to an article that was written about around this years London Marathon.

Daily Mirror On-Line

Chat soon

John

20th August 2012
Stockholm and Stockholm Jubilee Marathons are now dust and dusted and I have enjoyed a lazy summer with family and friends visiting and staying over for awhile.

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.

Chat soon

John

11th May 2012
A schoolgirl who died from a brain haemorrhage aged 13 has saved the lives of eight people by donating her organs and will help a further two regain their sight.

Jemima Layzell had discussed organ donation with her parents and told them she wanted her body to help save others in the event of her death.

Her selfless wish was realised when she suddenly collapsed at home in Horton, Somerset, and died in hospital from a massive bleed in her brain.

Since her death her heart has gone to a five-year-old boy, a 14-year-old was given her lungs and her liver was split between two boys, aged ten months and five.
Two people, aged 19 and 24, received her kidneys, a 40-year-old man was given her pancreas and her small bowel has changed the life of a boy aged three-and-a-half.

Jemima - who wanted to become an author - also donated eye tissue which will restore the sight of two people.

Her proud parents, photographer Harvey, 43, and mum Sophy, 38, today paid tribute to their daughter, who passed away on March 14.

They said: 'Jemima was lovely - clever, funny, compassionate and creative.

'She was a brilliant artist but planned to be an author and left many poems, songs, stories and also serious thoughts about her life and the world's problems and delights.

'She also thought about and discussed death and said of her wish to be an organ donor when she died.

'Eight people have benefited from vital parts of her beautiful young healthy body including five young children.

'Jemima was much loved, was fiercely loyal and cherished her many friends and sister.

'She has left a lasting legacy and example to others, by being an organ donor.

'It is so sad and we all miss her terribly and it seems such a waste of wonderful potential, but Jemima's short life was so full of joy and achievement and finally such generosity - to be celebrated and always remembered.'

Jemima suddenly collapsed at home during preparations for her mother's 38th birthday party at 6.30pm on March 10.

She had extreme pain in her head and lost consciousness. The teenager had suffered a massive bleed caused by a ruptured giant aneurysm deep in the left side of her brain.

Her family called 999 and Jemima was taken to Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton, Somerset, and later transferred to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol.

She passed away at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children on March 14 as she could not recover from the effects of the major haemorrhage.

'She was quite serious but also enjoyed silly games, consequences, paper games, treasure hunts and tree climbing.

"She usually carted around a large bag with school essentials, her private diary and several books.'

Jemima kept a detailed diary which her parents now hope to get published,

A memorial will be held for her at Taunton School Chapel later this month.

10th May 2012
The London Marathon is now done and dusted, my 11th since heart transplant in July 2000.
I am pleased to say that by running this year I managed to raise some superb Transplant and Donor Awareness, Daily Mirror centre pages (link to on-line version is) Daily Mirror On-Line
BBC TV Sport live interview on the day, Horizin TV Interview on the day and BBC Radio London, as well as BBC Radio 5 Live.
I am already preparing for the Stockholm Marathon which is on 2nd June 2012 and the Stockholm Jubilee Marathon which is on 14th July.

6th March 2012
A friend of mine "Natasha Rogers" who had a Heart and Lung Transplant back in 2001 has built a website about her journey - please follow this link to read her story.

John

Natasha Rogershttp://www.wix.com/tasharogers17/transplant-diary

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.
Please look at her website and see how she coped, before, during and for the 10yrs since her transplant.
We would welcome your comments and feedback. So please let us know what you think.

Happy reading folks.

Graham Rogers


15th February 2012
I just received some very sad news this evening that Heart Recipient "Hannah Pudsey" died on 7th Feb 11years post transplant aged just 24 - she was due to get married in 3 months time.
Thanks to Organ Donation & Transplantation Hannah gained another 11 years of life.
The Best Thing I can think of to honour her and remember her is to make an Organ Donor Appeal and ask any of you that haven't yet joined the Organ Donor Register to please do so now.
http://www.uktransplant.org.uk/ukt/default.jsp

2nd February 2012
I was invited to give a presentation and talk on transplantation to the British Heart Foundation, I am pleased to say it was well attended and that the staff asked some very interesting question.

31st January 2012
I went to Harefield hospital today for my 11.5year post transplant check-up - this involved having to do a 24hour urine collection yesterday and hand it in at the hospital today. The other tests were a fasting blood test, so no eating from 11pm the night before, various other blood samples were also taken to check drug levels in my blood etc. Then off to have an ecg, followed by an echo-cardiograph, then a chect X-Ray. While I waited for the results to be handed to my doctor I had lunch in the hospital canteen.

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.

Chat soon

John

19th January 2012
Martin Yelling from marathon talk asked if I wanted to do an interview about running my 11th London Marathon since transplant. You can hear the interview on
www.marathontalk.com

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.

Chat soon

John

16th Nov 2011
Paul Flynn MP (Newport West) (Lab): If anyone is in any doubt about the desperate suffering at the moment of people waiting for an organ transplant, they should look at the evidence from my constituent, Matthew Lammas, and his family, who came to the House and talked about their six months of agony while he waited for an organ to become available. There were calls in the middle of the night, and drives of sometimes hundreds of miles with disappointment after disappointment. He came near to death, but finally and happily, he was given the heart that he needed, and he is surviving. Anyone who believes that the issue can be pushed aside should read about that family’s terrible suffering because of the lack of organs. For those who did not attend the meeting, follow this link to read Matthew's story. More......

"The Welsh Assembly Government are planning to be the first area in Britain to introduce an organ donation opt-out scheme.  I cannot understand why anyone would oppose this."   

Paul Flynn MP

10th Oct 2011
It’s really great to see transplantation getting so much publicity at the moment. A lot of the coverage is around Cash for Organs or for the Government to pay the funeral costs of any donor.. I personally don’t feel this is the way forward.
Life is a precious Gift! And to be given the chance to save seven or more lives when mine is over is payment enough.
I feel the opt-out scheme is the direction we should be heading in, 100’s of lives would be saved. Did you know you are more likely to need a transplant than to be a donor?

John

17th September 2011
I am extremely pleased to announce that James (The Colossus) Thompson has agreed to become a Patron of the Charity.
James is a MMA (Mixed Martial Art) fighter with a huge fan base, I have met James several times and apart from picking me up by my legs and dangling me upside down. I have found him to be a gentle giant (well outside of the ring) and a complete gentleman. James said that from now on his motto would be “Live Life, then Give Life!” It’s absolutely fantastic to have his size and weight behind us and we look forward to him working with us and promoting transplant and organ donation.

Thank You James

2nd August 2011
Anyone applying for a driving licence from Monday 1st August 2011will be obliged to answer a question about joining the organ donor register, the health department has announced, in an attempt to boost the numbers of potential donors.

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
After my last London Marathon I was thinking off hanging up my training shoes and taking a well earned long rest, but fate and friends have encouraged me to enter a couple of other events already.

London Marathon 2012 - Place not yet confirmed
Stockholm Marathon 2nd June 2012
Stockholm Jubilee Marathon 14th July 2012

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.

Chat soon

John

17th May 2011
FaceBook & Tweeter... We decided awhile ago that we didn't want to go down the FaceBook road, but after loads of requests and people suggesting it we have decided to give it a trial, so watch this space over the next few days as we will be setting up a FaceBook page for the charity very soon.

Chat soon

John

16 May 2011
We have now started scaning various press articles the charity has been involved with and will soon be adding a new section to the website for these. Please do keep asking for information you would like to see/find on the website and where possible we will try to add that information as we go along.

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..

John

11th May 2011
I am often asked by friends and family of someone in need of a transplant what can they do, if anything to help??

Well my answer has always been donate!
Give Blood - Join the Organ Donor Register - think about offering Bone Marrow and so on.
These are very positive things you can do that will make a BIG differance. A transplant can use 6 - 10 pints of blood - depending on how things go during the surgery.

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.

Chat soon

John

24th April 2011
Well who would have believed it??
Today I will be 49 years old (or young), I still remember being 38 years old and facing heart transplant and firmly believing I would not see 40. Now here I am facing 50 and on 17th April I completed my 10th London marathon since transplant.
How do you thank your donor and donor family for the wonderful gift of life??

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

Chat soon

John

6th April 2011
The training for my 10th London Marathon since transplant is going well and I have begun to taper down now and rest my legs, as I am now not likely to get much fitter before the event and I don't want to risk getting an injury or over training and be tired on the day.
Harefield Hospital contacted me a few days ago and said I had some cloudiness or spots on my lungs showing from my last X-Ray - so on the 14th April I have to have a CT Scan on my lungs and on the 17th April I run the London Marathon...

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...

http://www.justgiving.com/John-Fisher0

Chat soon

John x

17th March 2011
Sunday 17th April 2011- I will be taking part in my 10th London Marathon in-order to raise transplant and donor awareness.

Please help me and “To Transplant & Beyond”  Save Lives
DIG DEEP & Visit My Just Giving Page

http://www.justgiving.com/John-Fisher0

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.
July 2000 – I could hardly walk across the room due to heart failure
29th July 2000 – A young man called Steven Tibbey died due to a car accident and donated his organs to transplantation.
30th July 2000 – I was lucky enough to receive the very generous “Gift of Life” from Steven, he donated his heart to me.
Sept 2000 – I took part in the Harefield Transplant Hospital fund raising jog, just 6 weeks after transplant.
May 2001 – I completed the Henley to Harefield bike ride – 26miles
June 2001 – Eleven months post transplant I completed the London to Brighton bike ride – 58miles
July 2001 – I met my donors family on live TV with Gloria Huniford.
May 2002 – I find myself cycling in the South of England to raise donor awareness for the NHS
April 2002 – My first London Marathon

Then the list just gets bigger and bigger – London Triathlon – Athens Marathon – Snowdonia Marathon – Cycle from George Town to Cape Town (South Africa) – Sydney Marathon – Venice Marathon – Great Wall of China Marathon – Shanghai & Hong Kong Marathon – 35mile Two Oceans Marathon Cape Town – Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon San Francisco just to name a few.
Over the years I have had great support from various people and companies, all helping me to raise transplant and donor awareness.
Now you can help too….

Please make a donation to “To Transplant & Beyond”

http://www.justgiving.com/John-Fisher0

Thank you for your support

John x

6th March 2011
A good friend of mine and the charity is the current Master of my local Free Mason's - He and his good wife Liz chose us to be the charity for his year as Master of his Lodge.
Sat 5th March Neil and his wife Liz held a Charity Ladies Night Dinner & Dance at Camberley Heath Golf Club. This event was attended by around 100people where we dined on fine food, drank wine and danced - there was also a raffle and an auction. One of the auction prizes donated to the charity was a signed football shirt of Wayne Rooney.


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.

John

21st Feb 2011
Where does time go?
Less than 2 months and I will be running my tenth London Marathon - 26.2 miles or 42km, although miles sounds and seems less to me..

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.

Chat soon

John

12th January 2011
Entry form completed.....Yes I will be running my 10th London Marathon since Heart Transplant on 17th April 2011, hard to believe I am still here 10years on, let alone running Marathons.

1st January 2011
Happy New Year to each and everyone of you.
2010 was a tough year for most people due to the recession and one of the first things that are affected are charities. I am pleased to say that we are still here and are able to continue supporting people in need of transplantation and offer our help, advice and encouragement. Please do continue to support us through 2011 as every donation really does make a differance.S

27th August 2010
W
hat a busy day - up at 4.30am for a training run (have something crazy planned for next year).
Radio interview at 7am from my home phone.
Work all day and then carry my new bath home with a friend from a local shop - we looked MAD!!!
Dinner and then off to BBC House for another interview..

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.
Transplants are not only effective treatment, they are worth the money too. But there are not enough organs.
Tinkering with the rules for consent, using less-than-pristine organs, and more donations by living people have still left a big gap between supply and demand.
Should the law be changed so that people could sell their organs? I think it should.
Permitting sale would mean more people could get the organs they need. People should not be stopped from selling their organs because they have a right to do what they want with their bodies when they would not be harming others.

And would allowing sale make more organs available?
The most basic economics lesson says that supply increases with price.
Organs currently have a price of £0. Give people money for their organs and you will get more of them.
Basic economics is a bit too basic though. Perhaps few people would want to sell; perhaps people who would have donated now would not because, for instance, they are offended by the idea of money changing hands. In theory, the supply of organs could even fall if sales were allowed.
However, when Iran gave generous compensation to live kidney `donors', it not only met demand but cleared the backlog on its waiting list.
Of course, people in the UK may not behave like people in Iran, so it would be sensible to do some research into people's willingness to take money for their organs. Still, if the aim is to increase the supply of organs, it would be worth giving sale a try.
 
What about the ethical objections? Many take pride in the system of altruistic donation.
They do not want to replace altruism with commerce and they think society would find commerce repulsive. But the extent to which we have altruistic donation is greatly overrated.
Many people die without giving any serious thought to donation. It is their families who agree and, when they agree, they are not donating their organs.
In any case, if organ sales would increase supply, it would not be altruistic to say: `we like altruism so much we will not allow sale even though more people will die as a result.'
As for society finding sale repulsive, there is no serious evidence that it would. Even if it did, people do all sorts of things with their own bodies that other people do not like.
Punishing people for trying to sell their organs - which has happened in the UK - infringes on a right to decide what to do with one's own body.
People should be able to choose for themselves whether to sell their organs. But surely, the argument goes, it is the poor who would sell, and what choice would they have?
Well, the poor do have bad options, but it is a pretty strange policy that takes away the one option they may think the best, and punishes them for trying to use it. And that is what criminalising organ sales does.
The critics have a point, though. People who are desperate lay themselves open to exploitation and deceit, and organ sellers are exploited and deceived in black markets now.
But the answer is to regulate the market, not to drive it underground. Selling an organ should no longer be a criminal offence.

26th August 2010
I am really sorry about the lack of up-dates, although I haven't stopped promoting and raising Transplant & Donor Awareness.

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?

DIPEx is a national charity, based at the University of Oxford, that produces a unique, award winning website. The website has interviews with people about their experiences of illness and with people caring for those who are ill. The interviews are shown as video, audio and written clips. The website also has links to other helpful websites, support groups, books and DVDs.

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).

TAKING PART
Taking part in the project would involve being interviewed about your experiences of organ donation, including talking about: your thoughts and feelings at different stages, how you felt about the information you were given, how you made decisions, and about the good and bad parts of the experience.

For further information please contact: Suman Prinjha

Telephone: 01625 501 503 or 07751 582420
Email: suman.prinjha@dphpc.ox.ac.uk

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...

Chat soon

John


8th April 2010
On the 25th April - One day after my 48th birthday and 9 years post heart transplant I will be taking part in my 9th London Marathon - training for the marathon helps keep me fit and well and taking part in the marathon helps raise transplant and donor awareness - although getting up at 5am for a traning run is still hard work, almost as hard as the run itself.

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.

http://www.justgiving.com/ttab

Thank you all and take care

John

16th December 2009
We still have some places left for the London Triathlon 2010 and The Great North Run 2010, if you would like to take part in either of these events on behalf of TTAB then please visit our fund raising page FUND RAISING

I would also like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year..

Chat soon

John

26th Oct 2009
The donor leaflet we have been working on is almost complete and I am hoping to have a PDF file of it available on the website very soon...

I am also busy training for the Comrades Ultra Marathon - 56 miles none stop in Africa May next year..

Chat soon

John

7th Sept 2009
The Organ Donor Leaflet we have been working on is almost completed and we are looking forward getting the first batch printed by the end of the month.. It has taken longer than expected due to less donations this year which is mainly due to the recession, so please remember the charity relies totally on donations and no one who works or helps the charity is paid, every penny is used to promote transplantation and support patients and families...

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...
Sadly my Aunt Val died yesterday of cancer, she was 68years old - the same age as my mum when she also died of cancer.. Needless to say yesterday wasn't a good day, but I then began to remember all the good times we had etc and thought Mum and Aunt Val would rather be remembered with a smile, they would both also like to be remembered by people talking about them.

About 5 years a go Aunt Val took me skiing, yes she was a little crazy too, guess it's in our genes?
Anyway we took to the slopes after breakfast having never skied together before, Aunt Val said she knew the area well having been going there for several years, so I just followed her. Up on the chair lift we go for the third time heading higher and higher, when we get off Aunt Val leads the way to the top of a down hill run and I follow. She stopped to wait for me briefly and she was off.... I got the the starting point and thought *%@##!! But too stupid for my own good I gave it my best although it was more than I had ever tired before, and to my surprize I made it to the bottom in one piece still standing, although maybe not in style..

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???

Chat soon

John

17th August 2009
Well another London Triathlon under my belt, although this year was the toughest I have had to run due to being ill for a few months earlier in the year - I had a cough and a bad cold I just couldn't shift... Then on the day I drank some Gator Aid (sport energy drink) which I hadn't tired before and during the cycle my tummy wasn't very happy, you can fill in the blanks - hence I spent awhile in the little boys room - did manage to finish the event though - 1 mile swim, a 24 mile bike ride and a 6 mile run..

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
Another year older (47) and another London marathon under my belt (dressed as Santa) long Story. When I woke up and left home I had no idea I would end up running the London marathon dresses as Santa Claus.
So what happened? Well I met a couple of guys on the train who were going to dress as Santa, we chatted all the way to london and it was a hot hot day, one of the guys Paul ran halfway but the heat was getting to him, so he did the sensible thing and took off the suit - thats when i did the crazy thing and put it on. What a great second half I had though - people shouting "I wanted a bike" reply "You should have been good then!" You are a bit early for Christmas" reply "It will be Christmas by the time we get there" etc etc - Then did a live BBC TV interview while still wearing the suit - guess i will never hear the last of it.

Tkae Care and Chat Soon

John

14th March 2009 Micky and John
I had the great pleasure of joining Micky Byrne for the 10th anniversary of his heart transplant, Micky had a party in a local hall close to where he lives. There was a disco and buffet, but best of all was the fact that Micky and several other guests of his sang and played to entertain us all.

MickyFor 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

John

5th February 2008
All our places for The London Triathlon 2009 have now been filled.
Although we do still have places for The Great North Run 2009, if you would like to take part in this event for us please follow the link for more information and a entry form.

Great North Run

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

John

28th October 2008
Yesterday I took part in the Dublin marathon and it turned out to be quite emotional.

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?

Chat soon

John

11th September 2008
As most of you will be aware March this year a couple of friends of mine (Sharon Krolling & Peter Russell) and I completed the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon (35miles) in Cape Town. Well with that now done and dusted, Peter has suggested we do The Comrades Ultra Marathon, the thing is this time the distance is 56miles in May next year.

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.

Chat soon

John

2nVichyd Sept 2008
Here's a photo from The European Transplant Games I wanted to share with you all, This is a French gentleman I met, sadly he didn't speak much English and my French isn't any better. But the point of the photo is he was just about to celebrate 30years post heart transplant. Now that is inspirational.....

 

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.

Chat soon

John

10th July 2008
Where to start?
Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon as part of the world team Bill Wohl put together - I am pleased to say it was a great success and we raised a lot of awareness, especially when we went out as a team all wearing our branded kit..

European Games - Vichy.
It is always great to meet other recipients from all over Europe - this year I also got to meet a Frenchman who was just days from clebrating his 30th year since transplant, meeting people like him and for them to be in great health and still competing is superb - reminds me that we could all make 30years plus - with a bit of lucky and by looking after ourselves..

London Triathlon
We have a team of over 50people now, which is fantastic, they will all be wearing branded kit on the day promoting transplantation and the organ donor register.. We have also now ordered some silicone rubber wrist bands to promote awareness, which I hope will be with me tomorrow or Monday.

Bimmerflex BMW Charity Car Show
www.bimmerflex.com
Richard who organise's this event is going to donate any profit from the day to this charity, so if you get the chance please do support this event.

Sorry write ups are so brief but rushed off my feet at the moment..

Chat soon

John

24th May 2008
I am very pleased to say the new Mayor of Spelthorne Simon Bhadye has decided to support our charity during his term of office. We are looking forward to working closely with him and attend some of his charity functions, we will keep you posted...

World Elite Triathlon Team..
I have been asked to join the Escape from Alcatraz relay triathlon team, as you may have guessed I will be doing the running leg for my team. The teams are as below...

World Transplant I
Steve Deakin
John Fairbanks
John Fisher

World Transplant II
Ray Velasco
Bill Wohl
Chris Domine

World Transplant III
Turlough O'Hagan
Jerry Benterou
Kathy Cross

World Transplant IV
Geoffrey McCracken
Zachery Epstein
Dennis Lee

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..

Other news..
We have a team of almost 50people taking part in the London Tri for the charity, and thanks to the great support of CherryActive we will now also have a stand on the finish line at the London Expo centre on 9th & 10th August, so please do come down and see us.

Chat soon

John

24th April 2008
In April 2000 at the age of 38 I didn't think I would live to see my 40th Birthday, yet here I am today celebrating my 46th Birthday....

Transplantation Saves Lives
So Please
Join The Organ Donor Register

London Marathon 2008 - 4hrs 13mins 2secsJohnathon Edwards


I was hoping to finish in under 4hrs this year, but having completed the Cape Town Ultra just 3 weeks before took its toll on my legs around the 20mile mark. But to be honest it is still fantastic just to be able to run a marathon, far more than I would have ever dreamed of before transplant.

So why do people say London Marathon is one of the best in the world??
Could it be the sights? Tower Bridge - London Eye - Big Ben - Buckingham Palace.
For me it is the people, the comradeship and everyone supporting each other, supporters giving out sweets and drinks to complete strangers, etc etc.. This year on the finish line I got bad cramp in my right leg, a young girl without being asked just came over and massaged my leg for me. I wish we could capture that atmosphere and spread it all over the world everyday of the year.

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..

Chat soon

John

28th March 2008
Where to start??
Ok I guess the result of The Two Oceans Ultra MarathonCape Town Two Oceans Ultra Marathon - 35miles (56km) 5hrs 46mins 52secs, and I enjoyed every step of the way chatting and making new friends as I went.

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.

Two Oceans

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
I had the great pleasure of being asked to talk at a seminar for transplant coordinators, it was great to the chance to thank them in person for the superb work they do. It was also nice for them to meet and hear in person about one of the success stories of transplantation. Sadly they normally only get to meet us recipients when we are in hospital ill.

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

John

11th March 2008
Not long now until the Cape Town Ultra Marathon (35miles - 56km), I hurt my knee a couple of weeks a go while training so I have laid off it for a while - the thing about that is it affects your confidence - we will see on the 22nd March - so please do keep your fingers crossed and spare a thought for me while you enjoy your breakfast as I try to complete this BIG Challenge..

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...

Chat soon

John

2nd March 2008
I have another busy week planned, Monday I have to start a 24hrs urine collection ready for my half yearly check up at Harefield which is on Tuesday. This check up will include a urine test to check kidney function, various blood tests including fasting bloods for a cholesterol check, ecg, echo and x-ray, then I will have to see the doctor.

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.

Chat soon

John

25th February 2008
I have just returned from Hong Kong after completing the Marathon, it was a very hilly course and a hot day so I am very pleased with my time of 4hrs 3mins. The Hong Kong National Press gave us some great coverage in both the English & Chinese Newspapers - I must thank Outback Steakhouse and their PR company for making all the arrangements and for taking good care of me while I was in Hong Kong.

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.

www.jusrgiving.com/capetown

 

9th February 2008
Sadly the British Heart Foundation turned down our application for core funding, but will will solder on regardless just at a slower pace due to funding...

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

John

29th January 2008
The organ donor opt out scheme is still a hot debate, so I thought Ii would add this comment that perhaps those against it and transplantation may not have thought about...

Lets say you are against transplantation and that you don't want to donor your organs....
Firstly did you know you are more likely to need a transplant than be a donor??
Secondly lets say you tell you partner that you don't won't to donate or even worse you don't tell them for one reason or another, well when the time comes they could say yes... At present there is no opt out register - so you run the risk of your organs being used against your wishes..

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

Chat Soon
John

14th January 2008
At last, now even the Prime Minister wants the UK to adopt the opt out system for transplantation - there are some people who are against this but I feel that they probably don't really know all the facts... It is called opt out for a reason - and that is you can opt out!

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

John

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
Feb - Hong Kong Marathon
Mar - Cape town Ultra Marathon
Apr - London Marathon
June - European Transplant Games
Aug - London Triathlon - We still have a few Charity Places available...
Sept - Eton Rough Triathlon

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

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/eheart/transplantwave.html

and another at

http://www.organ-ise.org.uk

Don't forget, if you have something you would like to share with our visitors please do let us know..

Chat soon
John
Live Life, then Give Life...

4th December 2007
Last week I asked you all to say a prayer for our dear friend Texas Bob Pitcock as he was in hospital unwell. I am pleased to say I just received this email from him......

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.
I was in the hospital for 7 days, then sent home to be cared for by "Home Health Care" (one hour per day to administer(anti-biotic) IV infusion. I am feeling great and breathing in a great way, so the Medical Team doesn't seem so quite concerned. Will return back to clinic next Monday for results. Will let you know. OK? Of course, my lit'l sweetie Darlene is quite worried, but I explain to her "St Peter just keeps on dusting off my WELCOME MAT" <chuckle> My positive attitude and my trust in God are my ammunition at this time.

Bob

29th November 2007
I want to share this thought with you all.

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..

Chat soon

John
P.S. I believe there is going to be an article about me in the Sunday Express this week, so if you get a chance have a read of it.

27th November 2007Shanghai
I am pleased to say the Shanghai Marathon went very well, I finished in 4hrs 36mins and Peter Russell finished in 4hrs 9mins. Peter and I are on track for the Cape Town Ultra Marathon in March 2008 (35miles).

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.

Chat soon

John

16 November 2007
Last Monday I was invited to the House of Commons to speak to Alan Johnson (Secretary of State for Health) on long term illness and the NHS. We covered a variety of subjects which included - Prescriptions - Post Code Lottery - Specialist Nursing - The Organ Donor Register (opt out) - Cardiac Rehab - VAT on charities - etc etc.

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
The London Triathlon is the world’s largest triathlon with over 10,000 competitors. It involves a continuous race over various distances in the three disciplines of swimming, cycling and running.

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.

For more information follow this link:- London Triathlon

Shanghai Marathon
Sunday I leave for Shanghai, where I will be staying with a friend Peter Russell who I ran The Great Wall of China Marathon with in May. We will be taking part in the Shanghai Marathon on Sunday 25th November...WHY?

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).

Chat soon

John

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
You have probably hear that Papworth Hospital (Transplant Centre) has sadly lost 7 of the last 20 heart transplants they have done, and those recipients died in the first 30days.

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

Chat soon

John

30th October 2007
I have had several people ask about having a forum (discussion board) as part of the website, well about 4 years a go we did have one but it was very time consuming due to having to mediate and check it daily.

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.

Chat soon

John

28th October 2007
A BIG THANK YOU to all of you that attended the Charity Dinner & Race Night, I am sure you will agree the evening was a hugh success. We raised over £2000 for the charity which will be a great help towards the general running costs of the Charity.

Charity Race Night
Mike Palmer - Outback Operations Manager
&
John Fisher - Charity Chairman
at our Charity Dinner and Race Night that was hosted by
Outback Steakhouse Staines

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.

Canoeing

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).

Horse Riding

Now it is back to training and trying to stay fit and healthy, while at the same time raising transplant and donor awareness..

Chat soon

John

17th October 2007
Tomorrow night is our Charity Dinner and Race evening at Outback Steak House - Staines - 7pm for 7.30pm - We still have just a few tickets left so if you would like to join us please send me an email and I will arrange for tickets to be left on the door - cost £15 each which is a superb deal that Outback have given us, as it includes a 3 course meal..

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..

Chat soon

John

10th October 2007
Last night I had the great pleasure of attending The Pride of Britain awards, as Sir Professor Magdi Yacoub - my transplant surgeon and president of this charity was getting an award.

John-Magdi-Mike

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...

John

8th October 2007
My visit to Portsmouth University during Fresher's week went very well, I was amazed by how many of the students signed up to the Organ Donor Register there and then. Although I was disappointed that there were not more recipients on hand to help on the day, yes I know you probably have work or play golf or something else to do - but remember if it were not for transplantation you couldn't do any of those things. Fortunately the same few of us did our bit (sorry about that but it is better off my chest)..

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...

Charity Dinner
&
Race Night
Wednesday 17th October
7pm for 7.30pm
Outback Steakhouse
Staines

Chat soon

John..

2nd October 2007
As you already know?? The worlds first heart transplant was done on 3rd December 1967, which means this year will be the 40th Anniversary....

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...

Chat soon

John

17th Sept 2007
Yesterday's Eton Rough Triathlon was superb in very way, location - organisation etc etc... I really enjoyed taking part in the event and will certainly be doing it again next year...

The 800m swim was in a man made rowing lake at Dorney - this lake is going to be used for the 2012 Olympics..
The 20km cycle was off road to the left side of the lake, cycling on gravel and grass sure is tough compared to the road.
The 7.5km run was to the right of the lake and was also off road.
Before you ask - 2hrs 26mins and I enjoyed every second.

Chat soon

John

13th Sept 2007
Sunday I will be taking part in the Eton Rough Triathlon, this event is sponsored by Men's Fitness Magazine who are going to interview me after the event for an article for their magazine. Hopefully it will lead to more people joining the organ donor register and raise some positive transplant and donor awareness.

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.

john@heart-transplants.co.uk

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..

Chat soon

John

4th Sept 2007
A woman has spoken of her shock after coming face to face with the heart that almost killed her.

Jennifer's surreal experienceTransplant patient Jennifer Sutton visited the Wellcome Collection exhibition in London where the organ is being displayed.

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
We have just returned from a two week holiday in the South of France, the weather was superb and we did all the usual holiday things, swimming, cycling, drinking and eating too much.. I am pleased to say that 7years on (post transplant) I still don't take these things for granted... To think a few years a go I couldn't even walk to the end of my road with out stopping for a rest or two...

So what's new??
1. This Thursday and Friday I have my 7 year MOT (full check up at the hospital).
Thursday will be for - blood tests - urine tests - X-Rays - ECG - Exercise (treadmill) - Ultra sound.
Friday is for:- An Angiogram
Now beginning to wish I hadn't eaten and drunk so much while on holiday.

2. I have agreed to take part in the Men's Health - Eton Rough Triathlon on the 16th September 2007.

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...

Chat soon

John

7th August 2007
Sunday I completed the London Triathlon in a superb time of 3hrs 19mins, 1mile swim 41mins 53secs - 24mile bike 1hr 30mins 4secs - 6mile run 59mins 6secs.

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....

Heart Laces
They have a blue background with little red hearts on.

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:- john@heart-transplants.co.uk

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...

Just Giving Logo

or by post UK Pounds only
Cheques payable to:-

To Transplant and Beyond
91 Parkland Grove
Ashford
Middlesex
TW15 2JF
England
UK

Many Thanks for your support

John

30th July 2007
I wasn't going to mention the fact that today I was 7 years post transplant - some recipients refer to it as their transplant birthday etc ....
For me it is both a time to celebrate but also a time when I think of my donor Steven Tibbey and his family the most, it is a wonderful gift they have given me, for without it I would have died years a go...

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..

Chat soon

John

27th July 2007
Just over two weeks until the London Triathlon, this will be my forth since transplant - 1mile swim - 24mile bike ride - 6mile run. This seemed such a good idea a year a go, the BBC are filming the event so I am hoping to do an interview and raise some positive transplant and donor awareness...

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..

Chat soon

John

14th July 2007
It is now official Tanya & Vinnie Jones are our Patrons..

Tanya & Vinnie JonesVinnie Said......
"Ever since my wife Tanya had to have a heart transplant at Harefield Hospital back in 1987 I've realised just how important a solution it can be.
I feel passionate about the whole issue of transplantation. Tanya became ill during her pregnancy with our daughter Kaley, and but for the wonderful doctors at Harefield Hospital - and, of course, the donor who made her transplant possible, I would have lost her.
Anything I can do to help John and his charity promote the benefits of transplantation I'm really happy to do. It's vital that more people join the organ donor register.
The very fact that we could renew our wedding vows 13 years after our wedding, watch our children grow and for them to have a mother and father is down to Tanya's transplant."

I am looking forward to working with both Tanya & Vinnie promoting transplantation and raising awareness..

Chat soon

John

6th July 2007
Vinnie and Tanya Jones are now the Patrons of this charity, most of you would have heard of Vinnie Jones, and some of you may know his wife Tanya? Tanya had a heart transplant about 17 - 18years a go at Harefield Hospital...

More details to follow

John

6th July 2007
I have just returned from speaking at a primary school assembly, the questions from the young children aged 7 - 12years old were superb..

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...

Chat soon

John

2nd July 2007
We have a couple of transplant & donor awareness campaigns on the go at the moment...

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

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

John

30th June 2007
We now have a merged service for the call centre's of UK Transplant donor line and UK Blood Donors, I hope this will lead to more joint ventures like joint publicity and leaflets, that way both organisation's could get twice the amount of promotion for the same or even less cost..

Call Centre
New Joint Call Centre - Bogner

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..

Chat soon

John

28th June 2007
I am very pleased to say that on Sunday the new No Smoking Law comes in to place, I have been hearing smokers say they will seriously cut down and/or even give up. This move has to be one of the best decisions our government has ever made..

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

John

17th June 2007
Fathers Day - this is the first year since transplant I haven't taken part in The London to Brighton bike ride. This is mainly due to two reasons, London & China Marathon being so close together and a friend asking if I would DJ at his parents Ruby Wedding this evening.

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..

Chat soon

John

12th June 2007
Not long before I take part in my fourth London Triathlon (5th August 07), a mile swim - 26mile bike ride followed by a 6 mile run.

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

John

5th June 2007
I have just returned from a talk/presentation on transplantation with Probus, following a splendid lunch I gave a presentation to around 50 retired businessmen.

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??
Yes believe it or not, it is..
You start the marathon feeling pretty good - a bit like life in general, then you begin to get tired, around 20miles you hit the wall and by 23miles you may well be walking and struggling to finish with around 3 miles left to cover.

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..

Chat Soon
John

29th May 2007

The Great Wall Marathon 6hrs 26mins and a few seconds.....
What a superb experience, and by far the toughest marathon I have ever run.

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.
Great Wall

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.
How wrong could I be? Yes we are now heading down hill but through farm land and following tractor tracks, with loose stones and chipping's.

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 The Wall 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..

Finish Line

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..

John & Henrik Jorgensen

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.

Chat soon

John

 

14th May 2007
Last night I was joined by a few friends at Outback Steakhouse Staines for a pre-China Marathon dinner, as I fly out to Beijing later today.

As you can see from the photo we tried to get in the Chinese mood by wearing some coolie hats during dinner.

Dinner at Outback

9th May 2007

Golf day

Shirley Doyle - Andy Kellock (19 years post heart transplant)
Mike Doyle (18)
John Fisher (6) - Jan Fisher


The Charity Golf Day was a superb success, we had almost 100 golfers out playing, it was a shotgun start that Mike Doyle started at 1.30pm

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

Charity Golf Day

7th May 2007
Our charity Golf Day is Tomorrow (Tuesday 8th May), after weeks of planning and organising.

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

Chat soon

John

 

6th May 2007 Great Wall Marathon
Our dear friend Bob Pitcock sent me a link to this picture, its of the Great Wall Marathon.

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..

Chat soon

John

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?"

Great Wall

The answer is easy
Sign The Organ Donor Register
Live Life - Then Give Life

 

29th April 2007
After weeks of organising, The Charity Golf Day is now only a week away. Just a few finishing touch's, and hopefully the day will be a great success raising both transplant and donor awareness, and some much needed funds for the charity.

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??

Chat soon

John

25th April 2007
Time to reveal what my birthday treat was, my wife took me to The West End for a meal, then on to the theatre to see The Lion King. It is actually the second time I have seen this show, the costumes are fantastic and they manage to bring the film to life, if you haven't yet seen it yourself well I can highly recommend it..

Take care and chat soon

John

24th April 2007
Happy Birthday To Me!!!
To think a few years a go I didn't think I would live to see 40, now here I am celebrating 45.
How on earth can you thank your donor and their family?
I guess by having a long and happy life, and helping someone else along the way, which is what I try to do..

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:-

http://www.justgiving.com/gwc

Thank You for Your Support

23rd April 2007
Hot hot Hot, yes that's how London marathon 2007 was, but what a superb day. 4hrs 45mins 54secs... The heat was a great learning curve for The Great Wall of China Marathon that I am taking part in on 19th May, yes just four weeks time...

Ron HillI 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)Sue Barker 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..

Chat soon

John

21th April 2007
Tomorrow will be my 6th London marathon and then four weeks later the Great Wall of China marathon..

But that not all there's still the usual things to do as well...
Tuesday I visited Harefield Hospital where I had my heart transplant and spoke to some patients who are on the transplant waiting list. I was first asked to do this several years a go, the patient have a information day where a member of the transplant team from each department speaks to them, then the last person they get to meet is me. I like by saying and here's one they made earlier, then I tell them a bit about transplantation and what I have been able to achieve since transplant.

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

John

11th April 2007
11days until London marathon and there is a chance I could beat sub 4hrs, but only just and with the wind blowing in the right direction.

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..

Chat soon

John

Donation Button

27th March 2007
Just 4 weeks to go until my 6th London Marathon, I have trained harder for this one due to also running the Great Wall of China marathon on 19th May (around 8weeks time).

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.
Crazy thoughts, only seven years a go I was wondering if I would live to see my 40th Birthday (now approaching 45 in April), or whether I would be able to climb the stairs to go to bed.
Now I am concerned about how fast to run a marathon 26.2miles.

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..

Chat soon
John

18th March 2007
As part of my training for the London Marathon (22nd April) and Great wall of China Marathon (19th May), I took part in the Hillingdon 20 mile road race.

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.

If you would like to sponsor me for these events to help fund the charity please follow the link.On-Line Donations

Chat soon

John

 

15th March 2007

Alex Wood - Limo

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.

Alex's Limo

We all wish you the very best for the future.

Texas "Bob and John

11March 2007

Jeff, John & Ray

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.

Chris Chittle & John

10th March 2007
I attend the British Heart Foundation, East Region Seminar in Crawley as a guest speaker. This was another great opportunity to raise some positive transplant and donor awareness.

The talk/presentation went very well and i have been asked to attend several other groups to give them a presentation.

9th March 2007
Micky ByrneMicky Byrne who's heart transplant photo's are on this website is 8years post transplant today, another 5years and he will be a teenager again. Well we all know what that means, acne and spots, followed by a bad attitude..

Well done Micky - God Bless Our Donors and Donor Families.

6th March 2007
March already, how the time has flown this year, that is probably due to me being so busy.

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.

Great Wall of China MarathonLondon 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.



Texas "Bob" Pitcock
Heart Transplant Jan-1991
Bob Pitcock

20years Post Transplant
January 2011

I just received this story from Andy in Birmingham and wanted to share it with you all.

John McCafferty
The UK's longest surviving Heart Recipient. More...

 

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.

I did decide several months post transplant, after I had past the dangerous stage of recovery, I positively wasn't gonna' live in a "Glass House" or a Bubble", not with this 2nd chance at life that had been so graciously given to me.

I truly realize others with different types of organ transplants should always be more cautious. I can fully understand their fear of the unknown. God Bless 'em

Ol' Bob Livin' & Lovin' it

______

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.

1986

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
"Merry Christmas, Bob".
I was truly thrilled about this and it truly warmed my ailing heart.

I rec'd double-bypass heart surgery 3 days later.

Ol' Bob

-----------

My wife found this heart shaped potato this morning. As you know, I am a heart transplant recipient, and we found this quite ironic, finding this on Easter Sunday.


23 December 2007
When I saw this photo I thought of John running the Great Wall Marathon in May.

Great Wall

This is what
"I Can Wait"
looks like.

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.

Bob & Rhona

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.
Rhonda had experienced heart problems for most of her life, even having a artificial(man-made) valve in her heart for 5 years. Have you ever laid your ear to someones' chest with a artificial valve? You can hear a continuous clicking sound.
At the time of her heart transplant, the surgical team removed the artificial valve from her old worn out heart, cleaned it up and placed this valve into a beautiful velvet covered box, then presented it to Rhonda, as a gift of remembrance. Rhonda was 25yrs old at the time of her transplant and died due to other causes at the age of 37yrs. I drove to Alvarado Texas and attended her funeral. Her Mum and sister Carolyn, still stay in contact with me at times.
That black tee-shirt that I was wearing in pic, I bought in Florida whilst I was trucking down that way, 6 months post transplant. NOTE: ....those fat puffy cheeks on our faces due to Prednisone meds.

Beautiful weather here in Texas today.

Texas "Bob" Pitcock

2nd October 2007
Here's a rather neat graphic I found while surfing the net.Heart Hands

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.

God Bless
Texas "Bob" Pitcock

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

Copyright Simon HoerstrupCardiac 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."

Copyright Simon HoerstrupCurrently, 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
If you can follow this link
>>MORE<<
you can read about some doctors who
re-transplanted a heart from a deceased transplant recipient into another fellow with a defective heart.

I have never heard of this before.
I have often wondered about this because I have always signed a organ donor card, even after my own heart transplant.
___
John
Darlene and I send our love and best wishes for you on your upcoming marathon...

Ol' Bob
-------

29th April 2007
I only posted these parts of my life, to put the thought in others' minds, your life is what you make of it.

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
"Second Chance".

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 !!!!!!

Ol' Bob
__

23rd April 2007
John well done on completing that grueling London marathon race...

Howard Little

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.

Ol' Bob
__

22nd January 2007
I have the great pleasure to announce that young Alex received his new heart yesterday and that all is going as well as can be expected.

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
God Bless

Ol' Bob

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