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Personal Stories
Dr. Christiaan N. Barnard
Sir Prof Magdi Yacoub

Donors
Steven Tibbey
Denise Darvall
Rebecca Nix
Natalie Brown

Artificial Heart
Jim Braid
Matthew Green
R
obert Tools

Heart Transplants
Children

Andrea Barrett
Shannon Curran
Emma Grace George
Ashlea Jerome
Leslie Keown
Jade Licence
Shawn Middleton
Hannah Pudsey
Lizzie Rogaski

Adults
Post Op Diary
Louis Washkansky
Carol Agle
Trish Byng
Micky Byrne
Reg Chisholm
Delia
Mike Doyle
Gay Eberhart
Jill Edwards
Maria Encalada
Bob Enos
John Fisher
Mick Foster
Steve Henderson
Buddy Hickey
Tanya Jones
John McCafferty
Derrick Morris
Bob Pitcock
Charlotte Jane Tate
Ann Woodbridge

Heart and Lung
Diana Chandler
John Rueben
Peta Capello

Domino Transplants
Peter Allinson
Shonqueela Mallory
Andrew Wilson

Lvad's
Jonathon Holmes

Carers Story
Helen Nutman
Sandra Taylor

Waiting For Transplant
Diana Chandler


Tanya Jones
Heart Transplant 1987

Tanya & VinnieTanya had an emergency heart transplant at the age of 21 and has been married to Vinnie for over 18years.
Since having her emergency heart transplant, her body has been through an incredible amount, all of which Tanya explains away quite pragmatically.
She has suffered kidney problems - common among transplant patients - due to the drugs she must take to ensure her body does not reject the transplanted heart.
And then the drugs she took for the kidney problems gave her gout, a painful inflammation of the joints.
Tanya has also had cervical cancer twice, which she believes was caused by her lowered immune system, and resulted in a partial hysterectomy.
But still she sees life's glass as not just half full but brimming over.
"I am exceptionally well and happy," she says from their home in Hollywood.
Vinnie and Tanya, both 43, do not normally give interviews together.
However, in a few weeks' time Tanya's transplanted heart and her only child Kaley, from her first marriage, will both be 25 years old.
It's a time for celebration and one Tanya will not allow to be tinged with anxiety about how long her "new" heart will last - the current UK record is 30 years.

Tanya & Family Tanya with Vinnie, her daughter Kaley and his son Aaron

"I am so busy, happy and positive," she says, "that aside from my three-monthly check-ups and annual heart MoT I rarely even think about it. I believe in mind over matter. I also think I've been very lucky that the heart was 100 per cent fit and with the care I've had from Harefield Hospital."
Vinnie, meanwhile, admits that he does worry.
"It can suddenly get me when I am working, fishing or lying in bed - a thousand thoughts rush through my brain," he says.
"I take my strength from Tanya. She believes her life was saved to save me, and in return I feel it is my role to look after her and give her the best life I can.
"She has given me stability and it is my responsibility to be there for her. When we are apart I make sure she is never on her own.
"Goodness knows where I would be without her."
Tanya and Vinnie have known each other since they were 12 and growing up in Watford, but the path of true love has been somewhat circuitous for them.
Tanya was married at 19 to former Watford footballer Steve Terry and her heart "collapsed" during the birth of Kaley in 1987.
She remembers it vividly. "I was in Watford General Hospital and everything was going well until they put the injection in for my epidural and I felt my heart collapse.
"I had been a gymnast since I was six, rode regularly and hardly ever even had a cold, but suddenly I was in terrible pain, couldn't breathe and I felt as if someone had blown me up with an air pump.
"I also felt incredibly claustrophobic and panicked.
"Somehow I managed to calm myself and gave birth naturally.
"Afterwards I looked in my small make-up mirror and saw my mouth was blue and that I looked grey.
"I called a nurse, who ran to get a doctor. I was wrapped in tinfoil and taken to intensive care.
"At first they didn't realise what was wrong. My life was saved by chance when a heart specialist walked into the unit, glanced at me and said my heart had collapsed.
"I was rushed to Harefield and told I needed a heart transplant.

Tanya & VinnieTanya and Vinnie renewed their wedding vows last year in Las Vegas
"I nearly died five or six times before a suitable heart - from a 14-year-old German boy - became available six weeks later."
Tanya had suffered a rare form of cardiomyopathy - literally "disease of the heart".
Her heart had swelled during pregnancy and the muscle collapsed during labour.
Although no one has been able to confirm the cause of the collapse, Tanya blames the epidural.
Her surgeon Sir Professor Magdi Yacoub, the transplant took 11 hours and she has never wanted to know more about her unknown donor than she does.
"I've never been curious to meet his family," she says. "Partly because I think it might be too difficult for them to see me.
"I do know that without their courage I wouldn't be alive."
Her marriage disintegrated soon afterwards and when Tanya and Kaley moved into a new house, in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, she discovered that Vinnie was her neighbour.
"When I got home from the operation I was so frightened, particularly as everything had to be sterile. I even had to have clean sheets every night.
"It took me more than two years before I felt confident to go out without feeling anxious and self-conscious.

"Vinnie was a real Jack the lad and I was very wary of him.
"But when I had to go into hospital for a gynaecological operation, he visited me, took me home and looked after me."
Vinnie's relationship with Mylene Elliston, the mother of his son Aaron, now 16, had just broken down and he and Tanya became increasingly close.
"It is curious how, after the transplant, everything in my life fell into place," she says.
"Vinnie knows nothing about medical things, but from the start he had a wonderful ability with me.
"It's hard to explain, but within a moment of him picking me up or putting his arm around me I always feel better.
"I haven't spoken for years about my health.
"On my two-day annual check-up at Harefield I bump into a handful of people who had a transplant at the same time as me. Some of them stay very involved with each other, but I prefer just to live my life.
"It helps that I have the support of my amazing family; that includes my grandparents and parents as well as my daughter, who is now working on a local radio station, Aaron and, of course, Vinnie.
"I learned a long time ago not to surround myself with people who are negative or who will drain my energy and I won't spend time with catty or jealous women.
"Luckily I have not had to deal with anything too major."

"Last year, my 20th heart MoT was the best I've had.
"My cholesterol, haemoglobin sugar count, electrocardiograph test and angiogram were all fine.
"The cancer has gone and the kidney problems that crop up over the years have always been balanced enough for me to get by.
"Even the gout that the kidney problem causes has been dealt with."
Her faith in her long-term medical care remains so strong that despite all the time they spend in Los Angeles, she would not dream of transferring to an American hospital.
"Harefield Hospital is the best in the world and it saved my life," she says.
"I never used to eat much and was like a little sparrow, but three years ago I suddenly developed an appetite and put on a stone in weight.
"I now weigh 9st 5lb, eat steak - which I haven't done for 16 years - and my health has never been better.
"I hate the gym and don't want to be an athlete or supermodel, but it is good for my heart to go on the treadmill and cross trainer."

"You can't avoid stress totally but I don't lead a stressful life."
She adds: "Kaley is now independent so I can travel with Vinnie wherever he is working, whereas when she was at school he went on his own and I missed him terribly.
"I used to cheer myself up by watching Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels."

This was Vinnie's first film that transformed him from footballer to actor.

 

Extract from The Daily Mail


Mr George Darvall
Mr George Darvall
Father of Denise Darvall the worlds first heart donor
3rd December 1967

"Well Doctor if you can't save my daughter please do save the other patients."



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