April 2, 2021 3.58 pm This story is over 35 months old

Lincolnshire man receives lifesaving heart transplant

Transplants have continued despite the pandemic

By Local Democracy Reporter

A 46-year-old man from Sleaford is one of 37 adults to receive a lifesaving heart transplant from Royal Papworth Hospital.

He had a condition called restrictive cardiomyopathy, which is where the walls of a human heart are rigid, restricting blood flow.

Simon said he owes everything to his donor and the hospital for giving him a second chance at life with his wife and two sons.

Simon Panton, 46, is “forever indebted” after his heart transplant. | Photo: Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

The transplants at the Cambridgeshire hospital have continued through 2020/21, despite the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In new NHS figures, it was found that more than one heart or lung transplant took place each week between April 2020 and March 2021, 70% of last year’s total.

56 transplants were completed, 37 for the heart and 19 for lungs, and Simon Panton, 46, from Sleaford, was one of the patients to receive a new heart transplant at the hospital.

Simon said: “I spent about 15 weeks in hospital during winter both before and after my transplant and felt completely safe throughout.

“The only down side was watching England in the cricket on TV.

“I’ve been home a couple of weeks now and was not expecting to be feeling this good this soon. I’m already the fittest I’ve been in the past three years.”

As well as this, Royal Papworth Hospital also worked with Great Ormond Street Hospital to rollout a world-first paediatric heart transplant programme, saving six children’s lives in 2020.

Dr Stephen Pettit, Consultant Cardiologist and Clinical Lead for Transplant for Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It’s been an incredibly challenging year for everyone in the hospital, including all of us in the transplant unit.

“In addition to treating people from across the East of England with coronavirus, our staff have gone to great lengths to make sure that people can safely access other services.

“Every day across the UK, someone dies waiting for a transplant because of a shortage of organ donors and so we are absolutely committed to ensuring every time we get a heart or lungs offered to someone on our waiting list, we will make the transplant happen.”