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The Gift Of Life

Receiving a gift is a wonderful thing, especially an unexpected one, but when the gift comes from a stranger, one who paid the ultimate price, that gift can be life-changing – literally.

RH2 resident, Don Wootton, knows firsthand just what a difference organ donation can make. Two years-ago Don was seriously ill with lung disease and the prognosis was grim.

He was under the care of the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospital where he had received treatment throughout his illness but it had reached a stage where only a transplant could save him.

Without any guarantee of suitable lungs becoming available, he could only wait as his condition worsened to a critical degree – he was housebound, relying on an oxygen tank, and fearing the worst.

Then, in February 2016 he received a call from the Harefield Hospital – compatible lungs were available, and he was to prepare for immediate surgery.

A few days later after a bilateral lung transplant, Don began a steady recovery, and now he is back to playing his favourite sport – 18 holes of golf!

Don’s recovery is still closely monitored by Harefield Hospital, and he cannot speak highly enough of their facilities and care. His health has improved so much that on Sunday, June 25 he was able to cycle 26 miles.

He cycled along with his Team Wootton family as part of The Grand Canal Challenge, a marathon route cycled, run or walked by participants to raise money for the hospital.

The Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospital Trust is a world class facility known internationally for their expertise, standard of care and research success in the field of heart and lung disease.

Like many trusts, it relies on donations to supplement its budget – the Harefield Hospital hopes to raise £1.1 million to finance the building of six new rooms in the intensive care unit which will enable them to undertake an additional 250 life-saving operations each year.

At the time of writing they are close to their aim and no doubt by now their supporters efforts will have helped achieve it – of course, it is not only financial help that the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospital Trust rely on.

For their essential work to continue more donors are needed on the Organ Donor Register. It is a sensitive subject, not many of us like to consider our own mortality.

However, it is a wonderful legacy to leave, that of providing someone under a life sentence with the chance of a reprieve.

[box type=”shadow” align=”” class=”” width=”600″]To donate to the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospital Trust, visit:

To find out more about Organ Donation, visit:[/box]

By Sarah Ballingal

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