Updated: Jan 6
Yes, Nick has had his transplant!!
After nearly ten months of waiting, Nick was told on Tuesday evening that there was a possibility of a donor heart being availble the following morning. When this happens the process is that the heart is taken to Harefield in one of their superb organ care systems where it is examined in detail to make sure it is suitable. So far this has happened three times and each time the heart was not suitable for Nick. Imagine getting yourself psyched up for the op and then being told it will not go ahead. It is a tortuous process for sure. How he has remained so positive for all this time is a mystery to us and a credit to him.
However, this time it was actually happening. He was taken into theatre early on Wednesday morning and the transplant began. It is a difficult and dangerous operation, made more difficult because of all the scarring caused by the previous heart surgery he has had to have. He also had a pacemaker that had to be removed.
The operation was a success. Apart from the old heart, he was in good physical shape. He as been 'training' for the op every day since he was admitted, pushing himself to exercise to his limits and to keep himself strong.
After the op, heart patients are kept in an induced coma to give the body chance to recover and for the heart to start working effectively. This can last for days or weeks, so you can imagine our delight when he awoke yesterday, just one day after the op. Samantha was with him and he was able to recognise her and talk. He is wired up to all sort of machines, but these will be gradually removed as his condition improves. The heart is working well. He told Sam how calm he felt as, for the first time in over 26 years, he could not feel his irregular heart rhythmn.
Today has been slightly more rocky. He has been very drowsy and his BP dropped. He had an internal bleed but the surgeons were on it straight away and it has stopped now. His BP is back to normal and his colour is good.
It is early days yet, but the initial signs are good.
It is truly an emotional roller coaster for us all, but our admiration for Samatha, and the way she is coping, is absolute. The operation took place on their 12th wedding anniversary.
Thank you all for your thoughts and good wishes. It has meant so much to Bob and myself.
Our heartfelt thanks too to the family of the heart donor who have given Nick the chance of life again.
Annette and Bob
19th Oct 2018