Andrew Whitby


I was diagnosed with Transposition of the Great Arteries shortly after birth.  I went to mainstream schools and, although I was unable to participate in the sport activities, I became a cub and Boy Scout.

In 1980 I started work at British Home Stores.  In 1984 I suffered a serious bout of Pleurisy which then led to my need for a heart and lung transplant at Harefield Hospital.  My operation took place on 24th February 1985 and lasted eight hours.  After the operation I had a pink complexion for the first time in my life!  Ten days later I fell out of bed and had a suspected fractured nose and skull as I was incoherent and confused.  I was diagnosed with renal failure, which was treated and cured by dialysis at Saint Paul’s Hospital in central London.

In 1990 my kidneys failed due to the toxicity of the Cyclosporin prescribed to me.  I had eight years of dialysis and received a transplant in 1999.

I am still working full time with British Home Stores and I return to Harefield when required, which is becoming less frequent.

Having had my transplant in 1985 makes me the official Guinness World Record Holder for the longest surviving heart-lung transplant recipient.  I will always be grateful for the chance I was given, and to this day live by my motto: “Every day is a bonus.“

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