100th Adult Congenital Heart Transplant celebration

The Freeman Hospital is celebrating 100 adult congenital heart transplants with a balloon release, conference and celebratory lunch, alongside patients and their families. All of these patients were born with complex heart disease and never expected to live to adulthood.

The Freeman Hospital has an international reputation for pioneering expertise in transplant surgery and infant cardiology treatment with best in class outcomes. The hospital’s Cardiothoracic Centre is home to the largest adult congenital heart transplant centre in the world, and is the only centre in the UK to provide comprehensive cardiac care, from birth through childhood and onto adulthood.

Many of the patients attending the celebration have received heart and heart/lung transplants at the Freeman Hospital spanning the last 27 years. They will attend to show their support and thanks to their donors and the work of the Specialist Team.

Balloon release and crowdRanked one of the leading and most progressive centres in the UK, the Freeman Hospital provides specialist treatment for all types of heart and respiratory related conditions in adults and children. The first adult heart transplant was successfully performed in 1985, followed by the UK’s first successful baby heart transplant in 1987. The first adult congenital heart transplant also took place in 1988.

The first patient to receive a lifesaving heart transplant for adult congenital disease, David Yates, from Newcastle explains: “26 and a half years ago, a 25 year old man died and his family unselfishly thought of others, rather than their own grief. They donated their son’s heart. I was the fortunate beneficiary – I received a second chance of life - I now had a future to hope for.”

Many, many more success stories followed (now 116 transplant operations) as a consequence of the highly skilled and dedicated staff.

Sir Leonard Fenwick, Chief Executive says: “We are so proud to reflect upon the commitment shown, year on year, by so many dedicated and highly skilled healthcare professionals who have pursued a plethora of innovative approaches to new technologies and treatments in this very challenging area of medicine."


Details of the event

This event is being held at the Institute of Transplantation, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle, on Monday 1 September , 2014. The patients will launch 100 balloons, containing messages in memory of their donors, at 12.30pm.

There will be opportunity to film and interview patients and members of the Specialist Team.

For further information, contact Clinical Transplant Coordinator, Lynne Holt on 0191 244 8266 or 07900014344

Notes to Editors

  • The Regional Cardiothoracic Centre was the 3rd transplant centre in England. Over the last 20 years Clinicians in Newcastle have pioneered the development of double lung and non-heart beating lung transplant surgery and achieved:
  • The youngest patient in the world to receive a Berlin Heart in 2014 (Tiarna Middleton)
  • The 1st successful infant heart transplant in the UK in 1987 (Kaylee Davison)
  • The 1st single lung transplant in Europe in 1987
  • The 1st double lung transplant in Europe in 1990
  • The 1st non-heart beating lung transplant in the UK in 2002
  • The 1st successful bilateral upper lung lobe transplant in the UK in 2013 (13 year old boy with Cystic Fibrosis).
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