Personal Stories
John Fisher
Heart Transplant 30th July 2000
[email protected]

In October 1995 I needed an aorta valve replacement to replace a faulty valve that may have been caused by a childhood illness. Sadly the replacement valve didn’t manage to stop my heart problems and in December 1999 I reluctantly went on the heart transplant waiting list.

When I first went on the waiting list I didn’t really feel that transplant was my only option, the cardiologist’s obviously knew it was but I didn’t feel ill enough for such a huge operation.

As time went by my health deteriorated and I would have to go in to hospital for a week or so every 6-8 weeks.

I needed to have oxygen by my bed at home as during the night I would become very short of breath. In the end I had to pretty much sleep sitting up in bed, because if I laid down fluid would collect in my lungs and I could hardly breath. I would also often sleep with an oxygen mask on, looking and sounding like Star Wars Darthadder.

I had to stop for a rest when going up the stairs (one flight), I would have to get my wife to dry me after a shower as I was to tired to do it myself, I would shave half my face and have to stop for a rest before shaving the other half, I had even stopped brothering about my appearance as everything was just to much effort.

Sunday 30th July 2000 and I got the call, my wife drove me to the hospital and the operation went a head (it is quite common for a transplant to be called off at the last minute).

Just eight days later I feel like superman, all the drains and monitors removed and I am free to wonder the hospital, a few days later I was allowed to go home.

7 weeks post transplant I took part in the hospital 3½ miles fund raising walk.
11 months and I am cycling from London to Brighton 56 miles.
April 2002 and I ran the London Marathon
June 2002 I am on my second cycle ride to Brighton
April 2003 and I did the London Marathon again.
August 2003 London Triathlon
November 2003 I took part in the Athens Marathon 5hrs 15mins

 I feel exercise is the key to a long life post transplant

I have also been fortunate enough to meet my donor family and can never thank them and my donor enough for the gift of life.

My first London Triathlon I had the great pleasure of meeting and being interviewed by Steve Cram for BBC Sport

1. Lesley (My Donors mum), Karen (My Donors Sister), Charlie (my daughter) & Me – 2. Magdi Yacoub (my surgeon & me) 

This is Steven Tibbey my heart donor

7 days post heart transplant standing by my bed

“As you might imagine, my donor and his family have been in my thoughts daily.
Although I am eternally appreciative of my new lease of life, my gratitude has been overshadowed by my heartfelt sorrow for his family and their loss.
I have accepted my gift with great responsibility and with the hope that I can make a positive difference in someone else’s life like my donor has done for me.”

Transplants Save Lives

We totally rely on donations to fund the charity, including this website which has remained free for over 21years.
We are very reluctant to add google ads etc, so please make a small donation to help pay for the day to day running costs of the charity and website.
Note we are non-profit and run totally by volunteers.

To Transplant & Beyond is a UK registered non-profit charity No 1106248

© 2000 All rights reserved