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Kath's story


Mother-of-two Kath, from Hertfordshire, gets her life back after a double heart and lung transplant

Retired teacher Kath had been suffering from faints since the birth of her second daughter Rose and tests year on year showed nothing was wrong. She was sent for an echocardiogram and it was then she was told her heart was severely dilated and she had pulmonary hypertension.

“I was in total shock” said Kath. “I knew the faints were getting worse as I was having them a few times a week. I couldn’t walk upstairs or stand up without going dizzy and getting out of breath. When I was told that my heart was failing badly I was just shocked and couldn’t believe it.”

The mother of two from Knebworth was put on medication to help with the symptoms, but knew the only cure was a heart and lung transplant. For three years Kath had to live with a catheter in her chest and an intravenous line administering drugs directly into her heart. As her condition deteriorated, the decision was made to put her on the list for a heart and double lung transplant as her lungs had also suffered because of the disease.

“I was on the transplant list for what seemed like the longest two years of my life before I finally got the call from Papworth Hospital to say they had found a match for me.

“I had a rough first week afterwards and was in a coma, but I made good progress and was determined to do as I was told, go through the physio and get better. I owed it to my family and to the family of the donor who gave me my life back.”

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