An 89-year-old man who has become one of the UK’s oldest long-term heart transplant survivors has paid tribute to those who saved his life, 30 years after his operation.
Ted Warner had the transplant at the Royal Papworth Hospital, Cambridge, in August 1990, and was only expected to live for eight more years.
Mr Warner, from Leicestershire, said every day he felt lucky and grateful.
The hospital said Mr Warner was its oldest transplant patient.
Mr Warner, who had been using a pacemaker, was told by a cardiologist at Leicester’s Glenfield Hospital that he needed a heart transplant, following tests in January 1990.
However, he had to wait until August for a donor, not long after being told he had three weeks to live.
Mr Warner, who lives in Broughton Astley, said if had he been just one year older, the operation would not have been allowed to go ahead – because of the greater risk to older recipients.
And even after acquiring the new heart he was told by surgeons he may only live for another eight years.
“I’m still very grateful and there are lots of people to thank,” said Mr Warner.
“[The experience] gives you an appreciation of life.
“People take life for granted and there’s more to life than material things.
“Money can’t buy you health. It’s nice to be ambitious but life is too precious.”
The Royal Papworth Hospital, which performed the UK’s first successful heart transplant in 1979, confirmed the expected survival rate was eight years at the time of Mr Warner’s operation.
Jayan Parameshwar, a consultant cardiologist at the hospital, said: “Ted has been an ideal patient. He has done everything we asked him to do and has been blessed with very good luck.
“It is unusual [that he survived for 30 years] but he has made full use of his life.
“He is the perfect advert for what a heart transplant can achieve.”
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