All Policies Include Coronavirus Cover

Woman celebrates 35 years since first heart transplant

24 November 2017 09:25

Just 32 of 1,400 patients were suitable for a second transplant

Just 32 of 1,400 patients were suitable for a second transplant

The world's longest surviving heart transplant patient is celebrating the 35th anniversary of receiving her first new heart.

Sandy Law, 62, underwent the life-saving surgery on November 22, 1982, when she was just 27 years old.

In 2005, Mrs Law received a second donor heart after the first organ failed.

She now manages a touring caravan park in Hertfordshire, and leads an active lifestyle alongside her husband Terry.

Mrs Law, believes she owes her life to the doctors at Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire.

"When I think of the extra years I've had because of the skill and dedication of staff at Papworth, I do realise how lucky I am - especially to have had not one, but two donor hearts," she says.

"It makes you live for the day and gives you such a positive outlook."

Mrs Law's mother died aged 39 from severe heart failure. Her daughter inherited the life-limiting condition and was given a life expectance of just 35.

The transplants have allowed Mrs Law to live a full life, far exceeding doctors' estimations and becoming the longest-known heart transplant survivor in the world.

"We are delighted that Sandy has done so well, and has gained 35 years of life since her first heart transplant at Papworth," says Doctor Steven Tsui, the consultant surgeon who carried out Mrs Law's second operation.

He added: "She is particularly lucky to have received two heart transplants - of the more than 1,400 patients who have had a heart transplant at Papworth, only 32 have been suitable for a second transplant.

"We hope that Sandy will continue to enjoy life and remain well for many years to come."

Transplant patients can enjoy a full and active lifestyle with holidays abroad, by talking out medical travel insurance.