Published: Saturday, July 20th, 2013
Patient celebrates fifth anniversary of first heart transplant at National Hospital
A very special guest has been helping staff celebrate the fifth anniversary of heart and lung services at Scotland’s National Hospital.
Georgina Burt was the first patient to undergo a heart transplant at the Golden Jubilee National Hospital on 21 July 2008, following the relocation of the Scottish National Advanced Heart Failure Service a few months’ before.
She returns every year with a plaque and a cake for the staff who saved her life. But this year was an extra special occasion as they were marking the fifth anniversary of both her transplant and the service.
Georgina, from Falkirk, had been suffering for a number of years from Cardiomyopathy – a condition that causes the heart’s muscles to become enlarged, thickened or stiff without any obvious cause.
When her condition deteriorated rapidly, Georgina was transferred to the Golden Jubilee and was maintained on circulatory support until a suitable heart became available.
But it wasn’t until she was well on the road to recovery after the four-hour procedure that Georgina found out the transplant was the first carried out in the Clydebank facility.
Georgina recalls: “I was becoming more breathless and couldn’t be bothered with anything. Once I got up and put my make up on, I’d convince myself I was fine, but I wasn’t.
“I might have to take anti-rejection medication every day and go back to the hospital regularly for check-ups, but I wake up every day and I’m thankful for what everyone has done for me.
“I will never forget that another family lost a loved one to allow me to have a second chance at life; I’ll always get emotional when I think of the donor and their family.”
Dr Mark Petrie, Director of the Scottish National Advanced Heart Failure Service, commented: “Georgina is a prime example of the difference organ donation can make to individuals and their families.
“There has been tremendous progress in the last five years with the increase in the number of transplants and we continue to work with colleagues across the UK to increase donor rates so that we can celebrate more milestones with people like Georgina.”
Picture shows Georgina Burt with Euan Darroch, Senior Charge Nurse within the Golden Jubilee's National Services Unit