25 years Larry might never have had

Tuesday 2nd June'Larry Hughes
Tuesday 2nd June'Larry Hughes

Newton Stewart resident Larry Hughes reaches a special milestone this month marking 25 years since a heart transplant operation.

The procedure was carried out at the world renowned heart unit at Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire.

Seventy-six year-old Larry, of Glebe Crescent, now wants to stress the importance of carrying donor cards as being an organ donor saves lives and also allows something positive to come out of circumstances as terrible as losing a loved one.

Larry said: “It is so important to carry donor cards as an organ donor can give someone like me a second chance of life.

“I make a point of keeping in touch with the family of the 25-year old donor whose heart I received to tell them that their son’s heart is still going strong all these years later. I live a normal life and all I need is a check-up at Papworth every year.

“I am eternally grateful to that donor for carrying a donor card.”

He underwent surgery at Papworth in June 1990 and was one of four patients who had transplants on four consecutive nights.

The delicate operation was carried out by cardiac surgeon Mr Stephen Large.

Papworth Hospital has been leading the way in transplantation for over 30 years.

In 1979 the UK’s first successful heart transplant operation was carried out and in 1984 the UK’s first successful heart and lung transplant; in 1986 surgeons carried out the world’s first heart, lung and liver transplant and another medical first was reached in 2006 with the UK’s first beating heart transplant, using the organ care system.

In 2011 the hospital reached the two thousand transplanted patients milestone.