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This Transplant Patient Just Saw Her Own Heart Go On Display At A Museum

According to a news report by the BBC published on May 18, a woman had the opportunity to see her own heart at a museum, 16 years after it had been removed during a life-saving transplant procedure.

The report states that the 38-year-old woman visited the Hunterian Museum in London, U.K., a renowned establishment dedicated to the art and science of surgery throughout history.

She referred to organ donation as “the greatest gift possible” and had hoped that displaying her heart would raise its awareness.

The woman was diagnosed with restrictive cardiomyopathy which is a condition that severely impairs the heart’s ability to pump blood throughout the body. Her chances of survival were slim without a heart transplant but thankfully she received the diagnosis timely and was informed that she needed the transplant urgently.

During the wait for a suitable donor, her health rapidly deteriorated. However, in June 2007, she received the news that a compatible heart had been found. The woman had been particularly anxious about the surgery due to her mother’s unfortunate outcome after a similar procedure when she was only 13 years old.

Speaking to the BBC, she described her thoughts upon waking up after the transplant, which was performed by Mr. Stephen Large at the Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire (U.K.).

She exclaimed, “Oh my goodness, I am actually a new person.”

Mr. Large said that the hospital had an impressive one-year survival rate for heart transplant patients of approximately 93 percent. Considering this he has described Ms. Sutton’s recovery as “spectacular.”

The report also mentions that Ms. Sutton initially experienced difficulty with moderate physical activities, such as climbing hills, during her time as a university student.

The woman has given permission to the Royal College of Surgeons to use her heart as an exhibit, which is now on display at the museum for anyone to see.

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