Life Stories

Having a heart transplant when your mother died having a heart transplant

19 October 2020

With the history of my nan, this was easily one of the scariest days of my life, worrying that history may repeat itself.

Some of you may be familiar with our story and some may not. Let me share our positive story. My family has a strong history with hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (a disease of your heart muscle, where the muscle wall of your heart becomes thickened). At least half of us have it, starting from my nan, aunties and uncles, and then us grandchildren.

Ten years ago in June, my nan had her transplant call after years of waiting and 3 previous false alarms. This one was a match and she got the go ahead. During surgery her donor heart failed and she passed away. With this being our only experience of heart transplants and Wythenshawe hospital, we were terrified to hear 3 years ago that my mum was told she also needed a heart transplant and Wythenshawe would be the place to do it!

Over a year ago she got put on the regular list and tried to live life as normally as she could. She was having regular check ups, including a heart catheter every 6 months. Her condition deteriorated and on Christmas eve 2019 she was told she needed to go onto the urgent list during a routine check up. Thankfully Wythenshawe hospital let her come home for Christmas so she could spend it with her family before she had to live in the hospital. She moved into Wythenshawe on the 27th of December. This was particularly hard as it’s a 30 minute drive away from home.

On the 24th February 2020 my mum got an offer for a heart. With this news our family spent the day with her at Wythenshawe, up until she went into surgery that night. With the history of my nan, this was easily one of the scariest days of my life, worrying that history may repeat itself.

When the surgeons finally come and told us the surgery was a success, it’s hard to describe the relief and the pride we felt, that mum did it! She’s a warrior! Obviously recovery is a whole other story but I’m glad to report she is doing really well. A few setbacks but that’s expected in recovery, on the plus side her first biopsy was clear and she’s even got an estimated discharge date for the end of the month!

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We are very grateful to those who have sent us their stories and experiences relating to organ donation. If you have a story you would like to share on our blog, please email us on


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