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'Each day matters' - It's 30 years and counting for heart transplant patient Ted

admin2020-08-25重庆11选5305
EverydayisoneworthcelebratingforaLeicestershiremanwhoisstillgoingstrong30yearsafter

Every day is one worth celebrating for a Leicestershire man who is still going strong 30 years after undergoing a life-saving heart transplant.

Ted Warner, of Broughton Astley, says he learnt the most valuable lesson of all as he lay dying in hospital back in 1990 - preparing to say goodbye to everything he loved.

Today, the 89-year-old grandfather is the UK's oldest, long-term transplant survivor - and has no plans to throw in the towel just yet.

"Most people don't realise just how valuable life is, me included, until they're about to lose it," he said. 'I was extremely fortunate to learn that lesson 30 years ago."

Ted, who continues to pursue his joint passions of golf and clay pigeon shooting when many of his age would be sat at home with their feet up, went under the knife at the Royal Papworth Hospital, Cambridge, in August 1990.

Just days earlier, he had been told he had just three weeks to live.

Living in Dunton Bassett at the time and running his own business - Warner Textile Machinery, in South Wigston he recalls: "I'd had a heart attack in 1984 which led to some serious complications over the next few years.

"I was visiting hospital at the end of 1989 for what I thought was a problem with my pacemaker but, after a few tests, they found it wasn't the pacemaker, it was a much more serious problem."

Ted was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, a disease which makes it harder for your heart to pump blood throughout your body which often leads to an enlarged heart.

"I had severe chest pain and shortness of breath," he said. "My heart was massive - over three times the size it should be - and my cardiologist at Glenfield Hospital eventually told me I needed a heart transplant and I went on the waiting list for a donor in the January."

'Each day matters' - It's 30 years and counting for heart transplant patient Ted 重庆11选5 第1张New life - Ted with his late wife Annette shortly after his heart transplant operation in 1990 (Image: Supplied)

He had to wait until August, however, for a donor to be found.

"It got really bad and I was told I had only three weeks to live," he said. "But the very next morning my doctor said 'we've got a donor for you!"

Ted was taken to Cambridge, where he underwent the operation. The result left him "astounded".

"It's a job to explain," he said. "The very next morning, well, the change was so dramatic - I felt like I was 16 again!

"I had been so bad that I couldn't even lie down without my lungs filling with fluid and I'd choke. I'd have to sit up in a chair and most nights I never thought I'd wake up the next day. The transplant was simply astounding."

'Each day matters' - It's 30 years and counting for heart transplant patient Ted 重庆11选5 第2张'Sixteen again' - Ted was back out on the golf course, as featured in the Leicester Mercury, just a month after transplant surgery (Image: supplied)

Heart transplant patients who recovered at the time were only expected to live for up to a maximum of eight years.

"They'd only been doing transplants like mine for 10 years then, and even nowadays the usual life-expectancy afterwards is about 14 years," said Ted. "I've been extremely lucky."

Ted has two sons, Neil, 53, and Adam, 49, who also live in Broughton Astley, as well as three grandchildren.

"I've had the past 30 years to enjoy with my family and enjoy my passions of golf and clay pigeon shooting.

"My wife Annette, sadly died last year, but we got to do so many great things together, like travelling and holidays abroad. And, of course, our grandchildren."

'Each day matters' - It's 30 years and counting for heart transplant patient Ted 重庆11选5 第3张A life well lived - Ted got to enjoy many happy years with his beloved wife Annette, who sadly passed away last year (Image: Supplied)

He added: "We all strive for material things but money can't necessarily buy you health and happiness. I just take one day at a time and try not to dwell on things too much - and it seems to be working anyway.

"I just try to make the best of each day because each day matters and is a blessing."

Ted says he will never forget, and will always be grateful to, the young person whose tragic death gave him his second chance.

"I was told he was a young man who'd been in a car accident," he said. "He was the same age as my oldest son at the time.

"I'm acutely aware that all this is down to the sad loss of one young man, his thoughtfulness and the kindness of his family.

"I will always be grateful to them and hope they would think I've done my best."

'Each day matters' - It's 30 years and counting for heart transplant patient Ted 重庆11选5 第4张Don't sweat the small stuff - Ted has no plans to throw in the towel just yet, 30 years after his heart transplant (Image: Supplied)

Neil Warner, who now runs the family business, is proud of his father, and thankful to the donor and doctors who allowed his dad to live such a fulfilling life.

"For us it's nice that we were able to have both parents around for so long," he said. "Dad has enjoyed 30 years' of life that he wouldn't have got without the brilliance of the doctors and medical science.

"Of course, unfortunately, someone had to die for him to live and we're all so thankful to the person whose kindness, and that of their family, made it possible after their life tragically ended."

He added: "Dad is such a positive person and still has his independence. He does very well for someone aged 89,

"It's fantastic to still have him here with us."

Ted's 30-year landmark is also being celebrated back at The Royal Papworth Hospital, where the UK's first successful heart transplant was performed back in 1979.

Consultant cardiologist Jayan Parameshwar said: "Ted has been an ideal patient. He has done everything we asked him to do and has been blessed with very good luck.

"It is unusual [that he survived for 30 years] but he has made full use of his life.

"He is the perfect advert for what a heart transplant can achieve."

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